Carols and Cocoa: Help in Heralding the Good News

by   |   jbaun@bju.edu   |  
Sharing hot chocolate and the Christmas story in downtown Greenville

Even to those who struggle to readily admit it, Christmas is truly one of “the most wonderful time(s) of the year.”

Of course, there is always someone in your life who feels the need to play the role of Scrooge. But even they enjoy that villainous, Christmasy role in their own strange way. Looking back on some of my fond childhood memories, I remember Christmas consisting of snow, family, food, gift-exchanging, a candlelight Christmas Eve service and many other heartwarming traditions. Oh, to be a band member again in the cousins’ rendition of “The Little Drummer Boy.”

As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that looking back over Christmas past can also be a difficult glance as well. After all, those traditions tend to change as I grow and change. Life is in constant flux. For example, there are families who will be celebrating Christmas without all of their loved ones for the first time. We love memories of Christmas past because we love to share them and retell them year after year, reminiscing about the “good ole days.” However, many will instead experience the pain of stories that once brought laughter because they now bring the pain of separation.

Telling the True Christmas Story

How do we truly bring “tidings of comfort and joy” to those who are hurting this Christmas season? As Christians, we know that Christmas is not about celebrating the hope of flying reindeer and a corpulent man descending our chimneys to deliver long-awaited gifts. It is so much better. Christmas is a beautiful commemoration of our only sustaining hope: The long-awaited Messiah—the best gift—that was born into this world to “save his people from their sin.”

Christmastime affords greater opportunities to spread the hope of the Gospel. There is no other time of year that people are so inclined to talk and listen about Jesus. Christians have the hope of all the nations, and during December unbelievers are willing to hear and even sing about that hope. They need someone to introduce them to the Christ in the lyrics of their favorite traditional Christmas songs. Believers have a responsibility to take full advantage of this awesome opportunity.

See Also: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas Carols

Obstacles to Sharing the Good News

During this season of life, there are plenty of obstacles that can keep us from speaking of Jesus. Fear is one of the biggest obstacles we face every day when it comes to sharing our faith. Perhaps we are meant to have a healthy fear, and we have other believers that can help us strengthen our resolve as we begin to do evangelism together. However, one of the biggest obstacles of gospel advance I have observed around Christmastime is simply a busy schedule.

Could it be that in our zeal to celebrate the birth of Christ we can get so busy celebrating that we never get a chance to tell others the reason for our celebration? It seems that every church, school, team, community, program, department, family and friend group have their own Christmas party. Christmas parties and traditions have their place, but if all our time is wrapped up in Christian get-togethers, we might miss the best time to share Christ with our community. We could be so busy tucked away in little pockets, celebrating with believers, that we forget to “go, (and) tell it on the mountain” to the unreached, hopeless and hurting.

CGO and Urban Evangelism Outreach

The Center for Global Opportunities (CGO) exists to keep the Great Commission and the Great Commandment at the forefront of our minds. We understand the Christmas season is busy. We know there is a lot on and off the calendar that will wrestle for our time. But we also want to encourage you to prioritize the reason Jesus came to earth as a baby.

In keeping with this mission, we want to provide one avenue for you to get involved in Christ’s mission for you. On Dec. 14, we will be partnering with Urban Evangelism Outreach to go downtown Greenville and reach people through Christmas caroling. It will be a wonderful time of singing about the birth and purpose of Jesus’ life. We will also have Scripture readings throughout as we proclaim the hope of the birth of Christ.

During the caroling and Scripture readings, there will be a group of students handing out hot chocolate and candy as we engage the city of Greenville in gospel conversations. This will be a joyful time showing our neighbors that we love them and that we want them to receive the gift of salvation this holiday season. You won’t want to miss this experience. A signup will be posted on the CGO website as we get closer to the day, and transportation will be provided.

Mark this Christmas outreach down on your calendars, underline it, and circle it: 7–9 p.m. on Dec. 14. Show the hurting world around us that we truly understand the significance of the birth of our Savior. Invite them to join us in singing.

Like Charlie Brown, someone downtown Greenville could be asking, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” And, just like Linus, we can share the true meaning of the baby that was born 2,000 years ago.

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Jordan Baun is the coordinator of outreach and evangelism for BJU’s Center for Global Opportunities.