So I was at a local towns Christmas around town weekend recently and the sidewalks and shops were filled with people. It was very festive, and certainly displayed much of what our culture attributes to the Christmas season. Even though I sense that much of what this was about really misses the mark about why we as followers celebrate Christ’s coming it certainly wasn’t what I was going to go around pointing out to folks (who by the way I didn’t know at all). But then I saw it on one of the street corners… a couple of men started doing exactly that!! With a little sound system and some signs related to what they were talking about they started to call out the sins of the culture and giving folks the way to repentance.
Now I am pretty sure that most of us can see how this approach is pretty ineffective, and actually may be more harmful to helping folks into a relationship with Jesus Christ. In my last post at the end of it I suggested that maybe we need to really think about how passionate we really are about inviting others into that wonderful story of the savior. Along with that we might want to think more about who we are telling and how we are telling the story. It is interesting that if you follow the verses in the song it almost seems like there is a draw to telling the old, old story in glory. Which seems to suggest we like telling it more to those who already know (you know preaching to the choir). Which in itself is certainly not a wrong thing to do… but in that setting it is pretty easy to assume a lot of what people may already know about that story (especially the part that encompasses Christ’s coming to be with us!!)
It is hard to question the passion of the two gentlemen on the street corner about their desire to tell others. Along with that the audience they picked to tell (although being they really probably didn’t know that many of the folks they were speaking at… they probably had a good chance though that in the crowds there were many who didn’t know the real story about Christ’s coming and why he came). Unfortunately, their approach most likely fell mainly on deaf ears.
The real question for each of us during this season and really more importantly throughout our days is how does this incredible story inhabit the conversations we have with folks in our lives. Who is God putting before us to invite in? How then are we in our conversations speaking our faith in a way that it incorporates and responds to what we see around us. Speaking it in a way that engages others to explore the gift that we are already realizing!!
Matthew West wrote a song a number of years ago titled Next Thing You Know in the song he asks the question “So, what’s your story about His glory?” Being able to invite people (especially people God has put before you and you have a relationship with) into your answer to that question will often open up those deaf ears. The classic Christian song Go Tell it on the Mountain has this important reminder related to that.
When I was a seeker
I sought both night and day
I asked the Lord to help me
And he showed me the way!!
Those following Him have been given a wonderful gift!! Others are seeking and we can invite them to the most important exploration in their life. This Christmas season gives us a wonderful format to open up that story!! So, go tell it on the mountain over the hills and everywhere… but maybe start by telling someone God has or will put before you!!