by Ed Stetzer
Each year at the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism we create an Advent/Christmas resource to inspire and equip believers to show and share the love of Jesus in a lost and broken world.
In the past, we’ve created Speaking the Story at Christmas, a video series to help us begin faith conversations with family, friends, and neighbors during the holiday season. Last year, we created Conversations at Christmas, in which we compiled the histories of 12 Christmas items and traditions that have Christian origins or customs attached to them. These are designed to help us begin a faith conversation around common items, songs, and traditions.
This year—my first as Executive Director of the BGCE—we are offering a FREE downloadable PDF called Where the Light Shines Brightest. We created this 25-day devotional to help all of us begin to imagine how our own personal reflection on the birth of Jesus Christ can inform and transform how we show and share the love of Jesus with a broken and hurting world. Each daily devotional includes a short reflection on the birth of Christ and a prayer for applying this revelation to our gospel witness in the world today.
Nearly two dozen Christian leaders have contributed to this resource. We’ve asked a number of Christian leaders to contribute, including a number of Gospel Life bloggers: Jon Bloom, Laurel Bunker, Kevin Harney, Kim Reisman, Mary Schaller, Sadiri Joy Tira, Tuvya Zaretsky, Joe Handley, Samuel Chiang, and others, including several of our BGCE directors.
When we began putting this devotional together, we had little idea of the pain and brokenness that would result from this election and how much ‘light’ is needed during this especially dark season. John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Our nation needs healing; our world needs healing. And this can only come through a true commitment to and demonstration of the gospel message—Jesus born as a baby into our world to save us from our sin and brokenness.
The past four months in my new role at Wheaton College and at the BGCE have been fast and furious. As a team, we’ve set our eyes to create a Center that would provide resources and opportunities for those who love Jesus to shine brightly in the world. I have become even more convinced that never before has evangelism been more needed than it is today. Commitment to telling others about Jesus in new and creative ways has waned. Everyday life overwhelms.
At the Center, we will continually seek to remind Christians of the wonder of evangelism, and restore our denominations, networks, groups, schools, and churches to a belief that we must, like countless millions who have gone before us, hold evangelism as one of the highest callings of all Christians.
So we create resources like Where the Light Shines Brightest. And we will continue to create countless more. We will gather leaders. We will dive into important and critical research. We will host events to train the Church in evangelism. We will weave evangelism into all fabrics of the Christian life.
Will you partner with us financially so that we can do more and more of what the Church is lacking? More evangelism training, more evangelism discipleship, more gathering as One Body of Christ. As a special thanks, for a gift of $100 or more, we will send you a printed and bound version of Where the Light Shines Brightest.
May our gospel witness light up our world for Christ during this Advent season and throughout the coming year.