While looking at the bright colored shining Christmas lights, in my home, I couldn’t help but wonder does “my” light shine? I profess to be a believer and a follower, but, do my day-to-day activities reflect such. Do people whom I come in contact with know, hear, or see my faith reflected in my speech or actions?
The believers in Thessalonica let their light shine as they reflected Christ through their actions. They role modeled for others their faith through thick and thin; “in spite of severe suffering”. May I take a moment here to say, “I don’t suffer well… not at all”. The Christians in Thessalonica under great hardship, suffering and overwhelming fear for their lives, modeled and lived out their faith. The result? People began to believe, imitate and reflect the teachings of Jesus. Their light of faith shone bright past the borders of their city and became known far and wide.
For the most part I do not live in an environment where I must fear for my very life every time I mention the name Jesus. With that said, too many times I live as if I do. Perhaps some of you do too. I keep silent all too often for fear of offending. I’m not in any way ashamed of my faith or belief, yet, my silence too often would say otherwise.
Jesus, the one whose birth we celebrate this month was born so I, you, all mankind could live a life of hope. Hope, the promise of more, found in the person of Jesus. He was born so we could live an abundant life. Not an abundance in a monetary sense; although many are so blessed. But, abundance in the richness found in love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, grace, forgiveness, eternal life with God the Father and more. These are all gifts which Jesus ushered in with his Birth. Gifts given freely to those who will willingly receive them. These are the gifts of Christmas.
My fellow believers how many of your co-workers know you are a Christian? What about your neighbors? Do they know you as a child of the King? Do they know you exist or are you the little red car that pulls in and out of the garage every day? What about your children’s friends, their parents, clubs in which you participate or sports you play?
Do those you come in contact with see the light of Christ reflected in you? Or, are you hiding your light of faith in fear? For what are you known? For what do you desire to be known?
Christmas is a perfect time to open the door to sharing your faith. Maybe it’s time to take a batch of cookies to the neighbors, have the team over for an open house and a time of reflecting on the Season. Who is God calling you to share the hope of Jesus with this Christmas?
The greatest gift we can give to another is the gift of hope.
Until next time,
“…. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model of all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia – your faith in God has become known everywhere.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4-8