Silent witness – joy to the world
“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”
Luke 1:31 (NIV)
The Christmas festive season is with us and you may be planning to send some Christmas cards. The custom of sending Christmas cards was started in the UK, in 1843, by a senior civil servant named Sir Henry Cole.
Sending a card to friends or family is a way of acknowledging them and showing that you have been thinking of them. It always makes me smile and pause for thought when I receive a card from someone – maybe someone I haven’t seen for several years. It’s encouraging that someone has taken the time to think of us, is it not?
If, as a believer, your family and contacts consist of many non-Christians, the action of sending a card raises the question of what style to send. A casual glance at Christmas cards for sale reveals that this season is a largely commercialised, secularised event. Of all the cards on sale most will not reference the ‘reason for the season’.
My response is to resolve only to send cards which explicitly highlight the Christian link to Christmas, even though it has become increasingly challenging to find such cards in retail outlets. If you intend to send a ‘religious’ card you may well have to search for them. The cover design will feature some aspect of the gospel account of the birth of Jesus; the message may be scriptural but more likely a seasonal wish. You might think that this is a given for Christians to do, however, going on the evidence of experience, this is not so.
My late parents used to receive dozens of Christmas cards each year – it always amazed me just how many. However, out of all the cards they would receive you could easily count on one hand any that referenced the birth of Christ, or any other Christian message. A card from myself stood out like a light on a hill – like a silent witness. (Matthew 5:14).
Taking part in this long-standing tradition of sending cards at Christmas is an opportunity to witness to unbelievers and nominal believers as well as to remind ourselves what Christmas is really about: the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour – a monumental and life changing event, significant for all people. Christmas is a one-off time of year to witness to a captive, celebrative audience, a chance to share the gospel news – a silent witness. Joy to the world!
Our heavenly Father and Jesus Christ our Lord, help us to be aware of opportunities to witness at this time of year and to share with others the hope of redemption that we find in our Saviour and coming King. Amen.
Study by Kevin Harris
About the writer:
Kevin Harris attends the Watford congregation of Grace Communion International.
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
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