On a personal level, I don’t even begin to think about Christmas until December 1st – at the very earliest! In terms of local church we can’t afford to wait until then, so I hope all your plans are in the bag and they simply need to be implemented … or maybe that’s next year! Whether we’re ready, or not, the fact is Christmas remains the season of greatest opportunity within the UK to proclaim the gospel.
However, my relationship with Jesus is already communicating to my friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances. To ensure this is sufficiently rooted I need frequent engagement with God by dwelling in his word, which remains our key source of hearing his voice. That’s why I want to commend ‘Practising for Christmas’ to you – click here to subscribe to our advent meditations, which will run from the 1st to the 25th December.
Certainly the evangelists I meet with as part of the Hope 2018 initiative are more convinced than ever of the evangelistic platform Christmas provides. As a local Minister I always approached Christmas with the expectation some would encounter Jesus for the first time and become his followers and that was usually the case … following their typical first attendance at a carol service. As you prepare it’s well worth checking out the EA’s website: https://greatcommission.co.uk and their list of Christmas resources.
Christmas has its positives, but it also brings a Tsunami of consumerism, which threatens to sweep any spiritual seekers away. The cultural tides within our society can also threaten our very integrity as followers of Jesus Christ and this is what I’m hearing Di Tidball alluding to when I caught up with her recently. You can read more of our conversation here as the first of a series of interviews we have planned for seventy-two.network.