If it’s a mission it has to be far away, right? That’s a common misconception. If it’s Christmas everything has to be expensive and complicated, right? Far too many people live that way. I’d like to help make it simple. Why? I like simple and I believe simple is part of great joy!
5 Simple Ways to Celebrate the Christmas Mission
The Christmas Mission? Christmas is the original mission story. God so loved the world that He gave is only Son… God is the Champion Giver. We give because He gives. That is pretty simple. Now, how do we imitate our Father with simplicity?
It doesn’t take much effort to research advent traditions. We have celebrated Advent in various ways over the years. We don’t do it every year. I’d encourage you to Google the subject. In particular, pay attention to things that may not be familiar to you in this culture. This year we are planning to put out some luminarias. That is a way some cultures celebrate the coming of the Christ Child. And I can assure you there are a multitude of ways (simple ones) to have fun making and displaying luminarias.
Another simple solution is to find devotions about Advent and share them with your family. These could be available in your church library. If you search online, make sure you are reading a reliable source (Bible Gateway, Focus on the Family, Desiringgod.org, Blueletter Bible, etc.).
I married an incredible girl that is an awesome cook. She bakes a mean batch of cookies. Debbie used to let our children help her make and decorate the cookies. Now she lets the grandkids help. Whether or not there are children in your house, imagine practicing some simple hospitality and having your neighbors open their doors to find you there with some fresh cookies and a Merry Christmas. Trust me, they’ll remember that. It’s the kind of thing that breaks down barriers and opens doors.
Carols and Cake
We always try to take advantage of things that are close at hand. Our family is a musical one. Most Christmases we took our kids out for caroling. Debbie makes a great pound cake (and other kinds!). She would put a few slices on a plate, cover them with colored plastic wrap and ribbons, and we would give them away at the homes where we sang. That’s a simple, memorable way to celebrate and be on mission.
Really? Well, sort of. What I really have in mind is service. Do you know an elderly person (couple) with mobility issues? You might do their shopping for them. You could offer to take them shopping.
Do you know a family that has fallen on hard times? Maybe there has been a job loss. Maybe there has been a divorce or a mother has been abandoned. Remember to keep it simple. You may not can take on their whole Christmas, but you could probably gather a few friends to help you. That’s a great next-door mission.
Adopt a Missionary or a Mission
What does that mean? The beginning point is to learn about what they do and pray for them through the Christmas season. A bigger step is to plan to pray for them for the next year.
Ministry is made up of people and projects. That’s true of your local church or any mission organization. Mission projects (shoe boxes, medical missions, water purification, pastors’ schools, etc) often grab our attention. We sometimes forget those projects must be led by people, i.e., the missionaries. Maybe your family’s adoption of a missionary or mission is to provide monetary support for their work. You can’t do it all, but you may can provide a part.
I hope you find joy in one of these simple ways to celebrate the gift of Christmas!