Last month Chinese people all over the world celebrated the Lunar New Year, which this year marked the beginning of the Year of the Snake. In China today, the holiday is called Spring Festival, and it is a time of family reunions and gatherings. For Chinese it is, as our old Christmas song says, "the most wonderful time of the year."
Just as there are numerous sayings or greetings that we use at Christmas time (Merry Christmas, peace on earth and good will towards men, joy to the world, etc.), there are also numerous sayings and greetings associated with Spring Festival. Most of them center around wishes for good luck or prosperity or success.
In this article, published in January on the Mainland website Gospel Times, the author considers what "new" sayings might be appropriate for believers as they spend time with family members and look for ways to share the Gospel with them.
During Spring Festival, a lot of people busy themselves drinking and eating and with social events. Actually, these days of reunion are a great opportunity to love one another. Christians can try saying some "new" things during Spring Festival. These might include sharing the Gospel with their families, sharing their hearts, saying loving things, expressing thanks, or just saying positive, hopeful things.
Sharing the Gospel
The Bible teaches us to share the Gospel, and "preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season with great patience and careful instruction" (II Tim 4:2). We can help people get to know the Lord Jesus and gain salvation, the biggest blessing a person can receive. Even so, in sharing the Gospel, you should heed these points: 1) Be passionate but not fanatical. 2) Trust in the Holy Spirit, not in the flesh. 3) Use the Word to attract people, not to attack people. 4) Do your best to live in harmony with one another, not making opponents at every turn.
Young people can reflect upon all the ways that their parents and grandparents generation have blessed them, and express thanks to them. One sentence that comes from the heart will bring such great comfort to your elders. And those who are older should try listening to the thoughts and wishes of the children, praising and encouraging them more. If you can enter into their world, it will make your relationship with them much closer.
Speak hopeful and positive words of faith
Everyone needs hope, and Christians, because we know and have faith in God, have eternal hope for the future. No matter how the world changes, no matter what we experience in life, Christians have a peaceful, hopeful faith, believing that God is in control, guiding this world.
Christians are the salt of the earth, and they want to keep the earth clean. They are the light of the world, and they want to bring light to the darkness. It's not something done painstakingly; rather, it's something that flows naturally from our lives when we know God. I hope Christians will take full advantage of Spring Festival, building good relationships with family members, and positively influencing many people.
Original article: 2013年基督徒过春节——试说“新”语
Image source: by Michael Davis-Burchat, via Flickr
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