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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Cards (11/06/08)

TITLE: An Annual Mission Field
By Gail Stoltzfoos
11/11/08


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AN ANNUAL MISSION FIELD

When we think of Christmas, we often remember aromas: the inviting aroma of cooked turkey; the delicious aroma of Grandma’s cookies; the pungent aroma of a pine tree. Aromas play an important role in our remembrances of past Christmas gatherings and festivities. But, have you ever considered yourself to be an aroma that can be a pleasing memory for those you know and love? Consider these words: “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:15) How better to flavor the season of joy than by sharing your faith while writing your Christmas cards?

Consider your list for a moment. I’m sure there are many who already know the “reason for the season.” Perhaps they need encouragement. Who knows what trials and temptations they’re facing? Let them know you care; that you’re praying for them; that you understand their tribulations. “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Go a step further with your Christmas card list and pray, really pray, over every person you’re greeting. Take time to uplift them before the Lord and let the Spirit guide you to their individual needs. Pray for them to know the Lord if they don’t or to deepen their relationship with Him if they do. Pray for health, well being, joy and peace in their lives. “Keep on loving each other as brothers.” (Hebrews 13:1) Love your card recipients as you write to them; love them with the deep love of Christ!

Tell people what the Lord has been doing in your life. Share the joy of an answered prayer; tell how moved you were by a recent sermon; talk about His guidance in your daily life. Make sure you communicate your deep joy concerning the Christmas message! “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6)

Strive to uplift those “once a year” acquaintances. Let them feel their worth in your eyes. Recall what endeared them to you and share a warm memory for them to enjoy. “But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship.” (Psalm 55:13-14a) You may not know what is going on in their lives; your paths may have taken different directions; you may not have much in common anymore. Don’t let that prevent you from touching their hearts with thoughtful words.

I’m sure you have many names on your service personnel list: mail carrier, hair dresser, teachers, nail technician, landscaper. Don’t stop there! Write to the electric company, the garbage collector, your bank, the mortgage company. We have the ability to touch countless lives with just a few lines of gratitude. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3)

Another opportunity for sharing the Christmas message is to send cards to strangers – yes, strangers! How is that accomplished? Check with nursing homes, veteran hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, prisons, halfway houses, homeless shelters. There’s an endless list of lonely people who struggle through the holiday we so joyously celebrate. “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

So, consider your Christmas card writing as an annual mission field and share His wonderful message with everyone! Take time to flavor every card, every message with the sweet aroma of the Lord. Doing so will shed an entirely new Light on this yearly chore; a Light that will shine in the lives you touch with His powerful message. “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)


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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 11/15/08
A lovely message with some wonderful ideas I may just implement this year! Thank you for sharing this.
Gregory Kane11/17/08
This is well written and a timely challenge not to be on auto-pilot as we write our Christmas cards.
You started to lose me there when you went on about writing to service providers and people with whom we are in only passing contact. I appreciate that this is the logical end to your argument, but pragmaticaly speaking I think it would be better to end with something feasible, something punchy that your readers can readily accomplish. But well done for daring to write with such force.