Why would anyone talk about Jesus at Christmas? I’m being sarcastic, of course. Jesus is the meaning. All the other stuff from presents to even charity loses all meaning without Jesus. Other noble sounding purposes for Christmas like family, giving, peace on Earth, etc, are often placed to obscure the historical fact that God became flesh in history in order to give us eternal life. Jesus needs to be talked about, especially at Christmas.
Is church the only safe place to talk about Him? Christmas is often a time that gets family together. Depending on the family, this is not necessarily a happy or peaceful thing. Witnessing about Jesus to your family is not a “one approach fits all” thing. The Holy Spirit will definitely need to guide you, but the theme of Christ is there, even if it has been driven to edges in your family. Here are some things to think about if you are seeking to be a good witness in a tense family environment:
- Don’t get angry or confrontational. You losing your cool sacrifices all of your credibility.
- Love your family, even if you don’t like them. For better or worse, you have been put together with these people and you are God’s agent in this mess.
- Pray. If God can’t soften hardened hearts, you certainly can’t.
- Ask questions and listen more than you talk. Now may be a good time to ask about the family traditions of in-laws and personal beliefs of others with respect to Christmas. If you listen, you earn some right to talk.
- Ask permission to share about Christ and your personal celebration of Christmas. If the offer is rejected, you know that it is not the time.
- Don’t be afraid to tell the story of Jesus’ birth to kids versus talking about Santa. You can point out that it is not Santamas. Use a simple children’s book if appropriate.
- If asked to pray, don’t say the National Anthem like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but thank God for Jesus, forgiveness, eternal life and even your family.
- Written communication can be safer and more permanent. A well self-written Christmas card can be a great witness.
- Keep in mind that behind the sinners that make up your family are potential disciples of Jesus who may become beautiful human beings in Heaven.