read to feed the soul

Written by FBJ Women for Women

December 16, 2020

The World at Our Doorstep

5 Ways You Can Embrace an International Christmas

From the beginning of our nation, we have been a country built by immigrants and international peoples. More and more newcomers enter America every day, bringing their culture and beauty to the colorful canvas of our country. But this Christmas, as we remember God’s gift of salvation for the whole world, my prayer is that we – as individuals of Christ’s church – will carry the good news of His gift in our own homes, cities, and country, like the shepherds who shouted the news of the King born in a humble manger to save His lost sheep, Israel, and the entire world.

      Be in prayer: Pray about embracing a Christmas bigger than your plans! Ask God to open doors for you to see a purpose brighter than a tree in your living room, to open your eyes to a lost world around you and countries beyond you that need a reason to celebrate Christmas. Pray for you and your family to take Christmas outside your home and carry God’s good news wherever you go!
      Be open to a flexible schedule: It’s often our first instinct to plan every detail of the Christmas season with parties, gatherings, and shopping, but I believe God is using this year to remind us to keep our plans open to Him. Many times this year, we have had plans tossed out the window and strategies torn apart as quickly as wrapping paper. But it has helped us to be adaptable to whatever happens; so let’s use that in our faith! May every plan we make be given to God and kept open to His changes, for His adjustments are good and bring opportunities we never would have scheduled or expected.
      Be a gift: It’s easy to donate a good amount of money to a great Christian cause and be content with that. But how much does it actually do? What change does it make to hand over a percentage of our money and go on with our life? Yes, we should give to causes that help people – always! But money alone can’t share the Gospel. It has no voice. Let us also sacrifice our time to people. Let us meet with people (even if it must be virtual), let us take our time down the grocery aisles to pray in our hearts for stressed shoppers that pass us. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us look out for individuals who need a little help physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. Socially-distanced does not mean spiritually-distant. It does not give us leeway to ignore the world around us. Let the mask on your face remind you to watch that your mouth speaks what you believe, but don’t let the mask hinder you from speaking at all. This Christmas especially, the world needs you to be a blessing and bring the good news of God’s gift.
      Be willing: Last year, as my mom went out on an ordinary Walmart trip, she met a Muslim lady who wanted to stay in touch. They exchanged numbers, and although my mom is overseas again, they still keep up to this day. My mom wasn’t expecting to meet someone whom she would share the Gospel with and later invite to First Baptist Jackson’s Carols by Candlelight (which the woman did attend with her family, praise the Lord!), but the Lord had opened the door for her. Even if you know very little about the world outside of America, always be praying and willing to open your home and your life to a stranger, whether she speaks English fluently or not! As He was with my mom as she made room to welcome our Muslim friend, God will be with you in every plan you leave open to His unexpected yet beautiful changes!
      Be the light of the world: Finally, as the season illuminates around you in blinking lights, don’t forget to be brighter than the temporary, mock light in this world. Everything positive the world shines is darkness. The true light comes from the joy and truth of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus spoke to the crowds, saying, “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

      Christmas is not meant to stay in the family; our faith is not meant to be hidden. If we really believe it, let the world see that Christmas means more to us than a pretty tree with presents stacked. Let us welcome them to Christmas; let us show them the reason we celebrate. Let our homes not shine because of Christmas lights or flashy decorations, but because Christ is the center of our home and illuminates our lives.

Then when we open the door, the world at our doorstep will look in and see the radiant, irreplaceable gift in our presence: the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ.