Because of the growing popularity of Christmas in China, this season provides individual Christians and churches numerous opportunities for outreach. In this article, originally posted on at Gospel Times, a pastor reminds believers of the need to make room in their hearts for Christ as they prepare for Christmas.
Preacher Calls for Internal Preparation for Christmas
The Christmas season is coming, and the world is making preparations. Christmas trees decorated with colorful lights fill the stores. Advertisements for Christmas presents, fashion styles, and activities are placed everywhere for profit. How then should Christians prepare themselves for the coming Christmas? We may answer that churches are preparing programs such as songs, dances, Biblical dramas, Christmas candies, and decorations.
Is there anything left? Let's have a look at what we should prepare for:
Prepare your heart.
It matters more to prepare our hearts than anything on the outside, because there's no room left for the Lord in the hearts of many. Jesus will be born in our hearts, not in visible churches or homes. Jesus was born in a manger instead of an inn because there was no room. So today the question is this, is the inn in our heart occupied by something else or empty for the Lord?
Actually, Jesus came to the world to enter into us. Christians should prepare our hearts. Some Christians only go to church on Christmas. This type of Christian can't receive comfort, hope, and faith from the Lord in the face of difficulties. For churchgoers who serve in the church, if you feel miles away from the Lord, prepare your hearts. God will meet us in our hearts rather than in our knowledge.
A born-again heart shall see God. A heart that is moved by God's spirit and transformed with repentance shall meet the sovereign master.
Prepare presents to be offered.
The Bible mentions that three Magi from the east prepared gifts for the birth of the Lord. (Matthew 2:10-11) They presented him with gold, incense, and myrrh to show their devotion.
What about us? Everyone has different things that must be surrendered: time, efforts, talents, and even lives. Normally a church incurs a lot of expenses during the Christmas season. As members of the church and children of God, we can donate money to our spiritual home.
Meanwhile, there are other meaningful things to do, such as visiting the elderly, the disabled, and the sick, and care for those who are in need.
Prepare yourself to a carrier of the gospel.
Christmas is considered to be an evangelistic opportunity because many non-Christians like to go to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Though they may simply want to watch performances, the programs and hymns contain the message of God. And many churches also include short sermons, sometimes lasting only ten minutes. We should think about this, reflecting on the purpose of celebrating Christmas.
As believers, we can invite our relatives, friends, classmates or co-workers to experience a different kind of Christmas. Pray that those you want to invite will receive salvation during the service. On this special holiday, the church can mobilize all the members to preach the gospel and lead others to the Lord.
Original article: 基督徒应该怎样预备圣诞节? (Gospel Times)
English translation: Preacher Calls for Internal Preparation for Christmas (China Christian Daily)
Edited and adapted with permission.
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