Last night, we watched the election results pour in and considered how the results would impact the state of our nation. No doubt this divisive presidential election and the split of the popular vote down the middle has heightened and highlighted our differences: conservatives versus liberals; Christians versus non-believers. That’s why Christians need to continue to #CastAnEternalVote even though the election is now over. In fact, demonstrating Jesus’ love to others and telling them who He is now becomes more important than ever.
We’ve all seen how Christians and our ideals have been vilified in the media during this election cycle. We’ve watched over the years as Christian influence has largely been removed from government, courts and schools – even though our nation was founded on Biblical principles. On the heels of Election Day, Christians now transition directly to another glaring example of where society annually attempts to erase Jesus from the picture – the Christmas season. We’ll step into that next battleground at the first mention of the words “Happy Holidays” in a store ad or greeting card.
Christians hardly have a chance to breathe, already preparing to defend our faith against the secularization of Jesus’ birth. We’ll soon start hearing “Merry X-mas” – and we’ll bristle. We’ll see more about Santa Claus than our Savior as Christmas approaches. Right after watching America try to take Christ out of politics, we’ll watch them try to take Christ out of Christmas.
That’s why Meet The Need is launching #GiveAnEternalGift – to combat the commercialization of Christmas with service and evangelism as our chosen weapons.
Combating the Commercialization of Christmas
“You can’t serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24) Clearly, when it comes to the Christmas season, most retailers have made their choices. It’s a Christian holiday but in an effort to maximize profits, under the guise of political correctness, companies will ignore its origins and meaning.
Unfortunately, their efforts to get American consumers more focused on BUYING than BELIEVING has worked. Even Christians feel the pressure to purchase. Do you ever get stressed out during the Christmas season? Our OBLIGATIONS to shop, spend, attend parties and see family often redirect our attention away from our OPPORTUNITY to worship, serve and share the Gospel.
We cannot let consumerism overtake compassion within our churches and social circles. We can’t get SUCKED IN (by all those stressers) with little time left over to GO OUT (to be a light to those helpless and hopeless). If we do, we’re complicit with retailers in helping take Christ out of Christmas.
The best stress reliever is always taking our eyes off ourselves and putting them on those less fortunate. The remedy for consumerism is to get out of our own “stuff” and turn our attention from OUR SAVINGS to OUR SAVIOR, making our desire to see OTHERS SAVED.
Boycotting stores or electing a Christian president aren’t the best ways to “put Christ back in Christmas”. Falling victim to consumerism won’t help either – splurging on our friends and families only strengthens the resolve of retailers by feeding their coffers. Instead, as our theme verse for #GiveAnEternalGift says, “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” It’s no coincidence that verse is John 12:25 (& 26) – 12:25 is Christmas Day! Only serving Jesus by regularly serving the “least of these” and sharing His message, two lost arts for most Christians, will remind our consumer culture of the real “reason for the season”.
Yes, the stand we should take for our faith this Christmas is one of action and not just words. We should demonstrate our FAITH to a world that’s increasingly unattracted to our FAITH because they hear our voices but aren’t seeing our love.
For all those frustrated with the commercialization of Christmas, #GiveAnEternalGift is an inspired solution that will have an ETERNAL impact.
Your Christmas Gifts are Temporal – His is Eternal
You’ve seen kids (the target of most holiday ads) rip open presents Christmas morning, only to stop playing with those toys or break them a couple days later. In contrast, Jesus gave us a gift that lasts forever – Himself. When we serve others in His name, we’re passing along that eternal gift to others. Normally, re-gifting is frowned upon, but not in this case. Leading someone toward Christ in the way that He modeled, by first demonstrating His love for them and then telling them why we care so much, is the most enduring gift we can give.
Instead of putting all our energies into finding that “perfect” gift that only lasts a short while, let’s give THE perfect gift. Instead of rushing to the mall looking for gifts to BUY, let’s consider “Where Would Jesus Be” (WWJB), areas of need right in our back yard, and look for ways to GIVE eternal gifts.
It’s Your Turn
No matter how the election turned out from your perspective and how much farther society moves away from the true Christmas message, you can still have an impact. Control what you can control. Do what you can do to bring our nation back toward Jesus.
#GiveAnEternalGift is encouraging 1 million Christians just like you to pray for, serve and share the gospel with at least 1 person by December 25th. BE the church personified between Sundays. Make an eternal difference in the lives of those around you by living out Jesus’ calling on your life – the Great Commission. You can #GiveAnEternalGift before Christmas Day by…
- Performing an act of kindness for a neighbor, coworker or complete stranger and watch it open the door to sharing the gospel.
- Posting a pic and tell your story on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #GiveAnEternalGift to inspire others.
- Challenging 3 of your friends on Facebook or Twitter to “pay it forward”.
Oh, I almost forgot – tell other Christ-followers you know about #GiveAnEternalGift!
And PASTORS – direct your small groups and congregation to our web site to see how they can #GiveAnEternalGift this Christmas season!
P.S. Why MTN is Launching #GiveAnEternalGift
If you know Meet The Need, then you know our mission is about more than providing solutions and software to churches and ministries – enabling them to bring more help and hope to struggling families. We’re about changing lives – which involves deep, personal relationships. That’s why we’re launching #GiveAnEternalGift. Our goal is to encourage caring, compassionate people all around the country who love the Lord to #GiveAnEternalGift.
We do this every Christmas in public schools. We Have Jesus Birthday parties. Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate.
What a neat arlctie. I had no inkling.