So they’re finally here—the holidays. First Thanksgiving, then Christmas, finally New Years. As we’re approaching what’s called the “most wonderful time of the year”, this article is meant to be a gentle (and perhaps humorous) reminder of the truth that as Christians, we are called to be a reflection of Jesus every season of the year. That’s all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. -Even when things aren’t so “wonderful”, we are still called to reflect Jesus well to the world around us. -Even when you’re in the "12 Items or Less" line at the grocery store and the woman in front of you clearly has 25 items—-and wants to use a coupon on each one. And she’s paying in change. -Even when the department store advertisement CLEARLY said that the gift you needed to buy was 60% off, but the computer says its full price and the trainee working the cash register doesn’t know how to fix the issue. -Even when traffic is bad and no one seems to understand that you have an appointment you can’t miss. -Even when you’re in the mall and you’ve just run into the person who stole your parking space resulting in you having to drive around for twenty more minutes and walk a mile to get a spot, we are all still called to be a positive representative of Jesus to the world. -Even when the oven breaks while you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner (true story—they couldn’t come to fix it until they came back from deer hunting the following Wednesday.) -Even when you’re mother-in-law says your gravy is lumpy and your sister reminds you that pumpkin pies taste better when they don’t come from a store. -Even when Uncle Ralph spends all of Thanksgiving dinner talking about how the politician you voted for is bent on destroying the world while the person he voted for has all the answers to save it, you still have a responsibility to act like a Christian and reflect Jesus. -Even when your niece turned vegan and your nephew wants to tell everyone everything he learned during his first 2 months at college (making him an authority on everything). -Even when the boss says you have to work on Thanksgiving even though you made at least a dozen posts on Facebook saying you were against it. -Even when you discover that Black Friday shopping isn’t all you dreamed it would be and the item you waited in the cold for 5 hours to get is sold out. -Whether your neighbor turns on their Christmas decorations before Christmas or the store down the street advertises a “holiday” sale rather than saying “Christmas”, we are still called to represent Jesus well and act in a way that would make these people want to visit our church rather than be afraid everyone was going to yell at them when they got there. -When the pies burn. -When people don’t like their gifts. -When the weather or sickness cancels your plans or the people in your life make you wish your plans had been canceled. At all times, we are called to present Jesus to the world like a delicious piece of chocolate cake that they can’t wait to give a try. In all seasons, we are called to be a light in a dark place, to treat others the way we want to be treated, and to give people a positive concept of Jesus, church, and Christianity.
This is how we fulfill our God-given passion, place, and purpose during every season—including the holidays. What do you do if you mess up? (Because let’s face it, we all do from time to time.) Don’t just excuse yourself and move on. Instead, apologize. Admit you were wrong. Tell the person you hurt that you are sorry and ask them to forgive you. Then buy them a holiday coffee or cocoa. Odds are, they’ll understand. After all, their holidays aren’t always perfect either. Reflect Jesus by showing humility. Then get back up the bus and try again. This is how we fulfill our God-given passion, place, and purpose during every season—including the holidays. I hope you have a “wonderful” Thanksgiving! (And that your oven doesn't break!) —Adessa
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ,
God making his appeal through us.
(2 Corithians 5:20 ESV)
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others,
so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16 ESV)
Give the gift of Purpose this year: