For Everything There Is A Season: Christmas Musings

by Carrie Boren Headington

evangelism at Christmas, Carrie Boren HeadingtonAs wise Solomon said, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1) Time is one of our greatest gifts that constrains us and, in many respects, defines us. It pushes us to prioritize for we can never recover time we spend. We are here but a short time.

“As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field;  for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more” (Ps. 103:15). Mother Teresa noted, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

We are given 12 days of Christmas, and at the end we often ask, like Dr. Seuss, “How did it get so late so soon?” Usually, I spend my 12 days rushing to and fro, visiting as many relatives as possible. By the end, I am utterly exhausted as I begin a new year.

One might say that spreading the love of God to others at Christmas is exactly what we should be doing as followers of Jesus. To this I say, “Amen.” We are the bearers of the good news that God has come to earth! God put on skin and moved into our neighborhood as Eugene Peterson put it.

The God who made the stars, galaxies, heavens, and earth actually walked among us. He taught us and showed us how to live and to love. He died for us on the cross only to rise again so that we can be reconciled to God for an eternity. This is “THE good news of great joy for all peoples” (Luke 2:10). Our Savior has come! Emmanuel… God with us.

Indeed, we are to make time to reach out to others; yet most importantly, we should accept Jesus’ invitation to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God.”

The greatest evangelistic strategy for believers at Christmas is to “be still and know” that He is God.

The first followers of Jesus did not need evangelism courses or strategies; instead, the awe and wonder of the Messiah bubbled out of them. The gospel burst from their mouths and hearts and actions from a place of a personal encounter with Jesus. What we need more than anything in our evangelism is not as much about method as it is about motivation.

Christmas is a time to recapture the awe and wonder of the Incarnation. What does this look like practically to:

  1. Give yourself the gift of extra time in God’s word, presence, and prayer?
  2. Withdraw to a quiet place (even if it is your closet) and be still in God’s presence? Silence if God’s classroom. Give Him time to speak to your soul. If possible, allow at least ten minutes in total silence in God’s presence.
  3. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness? I often feel rushed and distracted at Christmas services, thinking of the meal I need to prepare or the last-minute gift I need to wrap. Even more, I find my thoughts drifting to familial strains. This Christmas, make up your mind in advance to worship the Lord and focus on Him. Allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you as you bask in the hymns, the word of God, the message, and the smells and lights of the Christmas service. Gift yourself that gift. Worship and praise makes elbow room for the Holy Spirit.
  4. Take some days to do absolutely nothing? Take a Sabbath. Read, rest, and rejuvenate your soul.
  5. Ask God whom you are to reach out to this Christmas? He has strategically placed you in a sphere of influence with people He wants you to evangelize. We cannot minister to everyone; therefore, we need to ask God for His wisdom so we can be intentional with our time. Otherwise, we will spin our wheels trying to please everyone. Pray and ask for wisdom in how to spend your time and with whom.

We cannot give what we do not have. This Christmas, give yourself the gift of time with Jesus. Then, and only then, will you be able to be a dynamic and effective witness, operating in His strength, peace, power, and love.

Carrie-Headington-2Carrie Boren Headington (@CBHeadington) is an evangelist and apologist who communicates the good news of Jesus locally, nationally, and internationally. Carrie founded the Good News Initiative helping people meet God, know God, and share God. She is adjunct professor in evangelism at Fuller Theological Seminary, an evangelist in the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, the wider Episcopal/ Anglican Church, and an occasional guest on Daystar Christian Television.