Every holiday season, Christians are presented with a variety of unique opportunities to proclaim the good news of Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection. From family gatherings and workplace holiday parties to seasonal church outreach events, the holidays provide an abundance of doorways for spiritual conversations.
Carry the Aroma of Christ in Your Evangelism During Christmas
When we engage in spiritual conversations, we should prioritize carrying the aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15). This means during the chaos and anxiety of the season, followers of Jesus have yet another opportunity to distinguish themselves from the world by practicing a peaceable demeanor and compassionate disposition. When opportunities for evangelism present themselves during the holidays, the aroma of Christ in our lives often serves as the primary appeal to the truthfulness of the good news we share.
As we seek to carry Christ’s aroma and communicate his gospel this Christmas season, there are a handful of unique appeals we can make when shifting our conversations away from seasonal small talk and towards matters of eternity. Because Christ is indeed the reason for the season, it should be no surprise that his message serves to fulfill many of the cultural themes present at Christmastime.
Share the Gospel by Appealing to Family
In many countries, there is no other time of year when families gather together like they do during the holiday season. Embedded in the movies we watch, the songs we sing, and the traditions we practice is an awareness of the importance of family. It is not uncommon for people to openly reflect on what it means to be part of a family during Christmas gatherings and events.
Point to the beauty of knowing God as your Father and the church as your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Conversations on the importance of family provide a doorway for believers to talk about their adoption into God’s family. As Paul teaches in Romans 8:17, “But you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” While our earthly families are indeed a blessing from the Lord, they are an imperfect shadow of what it means to be a part of the family of God. Take time this Christmas to discuss the ways your family may imperfectly typify the family of God. In doing so, point to the beauty of knowing God as your Father and the church as your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Share the Gospel by Appealing to Tradition
Christmastime is also steeped in long-standing tradition. While the origins of our modern conception of Christmas are debated, the reality is that Christians have been celebrating the birth of Christ for two millennia. In a season that embraces so many seemingly meaningless traditions, Christians can appeal to the generations of believers before them who have celebrated the birth of Jesus.
On celebrating the birth of Jesus, church father Irenaeus states, “God recapitulated in himself in ancient formation of man, that he might kill sin, deprive death of its power and vivify man.” The same themes communicated in this quote from the second century were celebrated by the apostles a hundred years prior, and are still celebrated today almost two thousand years later.
The continuity of Christian tradition surrounding the birth of Christ serves as an apologetic appeal for the truthfulness of the gospel and stands in contrast to the more recently developed secular holiday traditions that our culture so readily embraces. This Christmas, look for opportunities to highlight how the celebration of Jesus’ birth is distinct and longstanding when compared to other cultural holiday traditions.
Share the Gospel by Appealing to Giving
Perhaps the most recognizable gospel theme present during the holiday season is giving. As followers of Jesus, we serve a God who is the giver of all good gifts, and who gives all things abundantly to his children (James 1:17). We serve a God who gave up himself as the ultimate display of his perfect love.
We serve a God who gave up himself as the ultimate display of his perfect love.
As John 15:13 states, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Humanity knows no greater love than the gift of Christ. During the season in which our culture is most ready to give, initiate conversations on the gift that we have received in Christ, pointing others towards the unthinkably generous love of our God.
Share the Gospel by Appealing to Truth
Lastly, the holiday season is characterized by lighthearted cultural myths and a willing suspension of disbelief. Whether it be the mysterious Elf on the Shelf, the “magic” of Christmastime, or the jolly sleigh-riding man from the North Pole, our culture has agreed in an unspoken contract to affirm these seasonal stories and superstitions as truth.
In light of this, we will find that many of our friends and neighbors have unthinkingly compartmentalized the narrative of Jesus’ birth in a manger alongside the likes of our friends Rudolph and Santa. Jesus, however, is not a mere symbolic cultural icon of generosity and humility. He is God in the flesh, and the narrative of his birth is both morally informative and historically true.
As Jesus teaches in John 14:6, he is “the way, and the truth, and the life.” No one comes to the Father except through him. When discussing Christ’s birth, visiting a live nativity scene, or even watching Linus’ famous speech from A Charlie Brown Christmas, we should be careful to distinguish the truthfulness of Jesus’ birth narrative from that of our cultural myths.
Because Jesus’ teachings on the necessity of the gospel for salvation are just as true as the biblical account of his birth, death, and resurrection, Christians should approach gospel opportunities this Christmas with a sense of urgency and expectation. After all, the same God who proclaimed the good news of great joy to a group of humble shepherds two thousand years ago is still empowering us to proclaim this good news today (Luke 2:10).