As Chinese Christians flock home for the New Year, Pastor Cheng Fengsheng encourages them to bring the most important gift of all.
Go Home with the "Greatest Treasure"
It's Chinese New Year, and everyone is carrying bags big and small to go home for a family reunion. Regardless of class and status, everyone is filled with thoughts of home and family. They are bringing home New Year's goodies and specialties to share with the young and old in their hometown. Exchanging blessings and the accompanying celebrations express the longing for blessings and peace in the new year.
Chinese Christians are no exception. Inheriting the essence of traditional culture, they exercise a unique faith to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Although they have fewer superstitious activities, they use prayer, singing, reading, and preaching to express gratitude to God for the experiences and gains of the past year, and to pray for the blessing of grace upon grace for the coming year.
When Christians celebrate the New Year, in addition to preparing New Year’s goods, it is more important to give to one's dear family the best gift in this life. This gift is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ himself is the gift of God. God gave his love to the world as a gift who became the source of our salvation. As Paul testified:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5
Jesus is our gift, he is the "New Year goodie" to bring to our families. He is not simply some topic we can wax eloquent about. Nor ought we simply to bring him home as head knowledge. Rather we must bring home a life changed by the Lord, including our own life style, principles of faith, ways of handling things, how we treat others, and so on. A life changed by the Lord is visible, and the strength of its testimony is most effective.
When they meet their elders, relatives, and friends to celebrate the New Year, Christians need to be clear about their identity and pay attention to their words and deeds. It's possible they do not need to say much and do not need to get into unnecessary arguments with others, instead conform to the attitude and behavior of a saint.
If you have the opportunity to share the gospel with your family, ask God to give you the grace to witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and what he does in us, so that you can introduce Jesus Christ to your family, relatives, and friends.
Image credit: V.T. Polywoda via Flickr.
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