Which of the following seasonal obsessions has you in its clutches this Advent Season?
- Watching all my favorite Christmas movies (Elf, anyone?).
- Finding the perfect Christmas gift for everyone on my list.
- Keeping the extra pounds off when candy, cookies and eggnog lurk ‘round every corner.
- Fine-tuning my Christmas playlist.
- Watching the 10-day forecast and dreaming of a white Christmas.
- Watching the 10-day forecast and dreaming I won’t be stranded in the middle of Nebraska on Christmas.
- Getting the Christmas lights up (still trying…hope springs eternal!).
Each of these December traditions has the potential to draw us toward Jesus or distract us from Him. It all depends on our perspective, doesn’t it?
So how is YOUR Advent Season unfolding this year? Is it a time of re-centering your heart on Jesus in the midst of Christmas chaos, or are you totally distracted from the Christ that Christmas is all about?
Whether you’re in a good place…or not so much…we’d like to propose you add (or amp up) a new seasonal obsession to your list of annual Advent Season traditions—actively sharing your faith with those who don’t know our Savior.
Until a few years ago, I only knew of Advent from the little chocolate-filled calendars I got as a kid. For anyone else in the same boat (no shame!), here’s a basic rundown of what Advent traditionally entails:
The word advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “arrival” or “coming.” Beginning four Sundays before Christmas, Advent is celebrated as “both a commemoration of Christ’s first coming and an anticipation of His second coming” (read more about Advent at gotquestions.org).
When Jesus first came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem, it meant the Savior of the world had finally come. The God of the universe was taking the form of a flesh-and-blood person who would grow up to die on the cross for our sins. Paul sums it up like this:
“…though He was in the form of God, [He] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8
The day Jesus was born was the initiation of God’s plan to save the world from sin. And when Jesus comes back again someday, He will defeat sin, death, and Satan once and for all.
It’s this First Coming/Second Coming power-combo all rolled into one grand story that we celebrate during Advent Season!
Staying On Mission During Advent
Now that we know what we’re actually celebrating during Advent Season, what do we do with it? Instead of getting caught up in the holiday hoopla, how can we use Advent as a time to spread the gospel with more passion and fervor than ever before?
We could start by taking advantage of the “Chreaster” culture (those who only attend church on Christmas and Easter) and invite people to church who normally wouldn’t come.
We could harness this time of year to tell unbelievers the true story of the baby in the nativity scene who grew up and died on the cross for them. The Life in 6 Words GOSPEL acrostic (also available in an app) is a super helpful tool to tell someone how to believe in Jesus if you need some pointers.
Then, we could explain that the reason behind Christmas is what gives our lives meaning, both now and for eternity. For more ideas on sharing the gospel this time of year, check out Greg Stier’s post on 5 simple ways to share Christ this Christmas.
A relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important gift anyone could ever receive, so let’s pray that Jesus will use US to spread the gospel throughout Advent Season this year!