World Missions is the Reason for the Season

During the Christmas season we are frequently reminded that Jesus is the reason for the season. We could extrapolate this by saying that missions is the reason for the season. Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given…” John 3:16 presents this gift to the world, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…” That first Christmas God gave His Son “that the world through him might be saved.” Jesus was sent to save sinners; likewise, we are sent to save sinners through the preaching of the Gospel. Thus, since the proclaiming of God’s gift to the world is called missions, practically speaking, world missions is the reason for the Christmas season.

Since missions is the reason for Christmas, our celebration and gift giving should be directed towards and result in more people hearing the good news—God loves people and has given His Son for the reconciliation of the world. Here are some ways that this can be fun and effective.

The White Elephant Gift

The white elephant gift party is a fun gift exchange where everyone brings inexpensive or funny gifts. Numbers are drawn and gifts are taken or stolen in number order until all the gifts are gone. This gift exchange can be focused towards missions by requiring all gifts be something that is from another culture. This slight adjustment to a popular event can shift the focus of Christmas towards missions.

Picture of a snow-covered office building.Donate to a Missionary or Missions Ministry

Many churches and individuals give their first gift of the Christmas Season to God by donating to a missionary or missions ministry. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Christmas than by supporting those who are taking God’s gift to the world.

Send a Care Package to a Missionary

Care packages are popular with college students and military personnel. What about those missionaries who are away from home and family? Your gift could be what God uses to encourage them. Imagine feeling loneliness during the holidays only to find a package of heartfelt goodies from home. Many favorite foods and luxuries cannot be found overseas. This would be a special treat indeed! Make sure to do your homework. What are the missionaries’ likes and dislikes? What are they missing from home that they cannot obtain on the field? Check with the missionaries’ agency. It may not be wise to send a missionary a package in some restricted access nations.

Throw an International Christmas Party

My family will never forget the Vietnamese Christmas party we had in Samoa. Decorate, and prepare special food from a country where your missionary serves. During the party play an appropriate international game and then Skype your missionary and love on them for a while. Not only would you encourage the missionary, but your family and friends will be redirected to the reason for the season—missions!

Decorate a Christmas Tree with International Ornaments

Christmas trees are not only beautiful; they are also very sentimental. Each ornament can hold memories that represent relationships past and present. Set up a tree in your home, church or Sunday school class and decorate it with ornaments from around the world. Some of these ornaments could have been bought during short-term mission trips or, perhaps, brought by your missionaries when they visited your church. These ornaments could serve as a reminder of the real reason for the Christmas season; later, perhaps, they could be auctioned and sold with the proceeds going towards your favorite missionary or mission project.

Let’s remember, rejoice and revel this Christmas season, but let’s not forget the reason for this wonderful season—“the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” Missions is the reason for the season!

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