I’d like to suggest something as we approach Advent and Christmas.
It’s to make your faith visible. I don’t just mean with words and deeds—although that is very important too. What I mean is including visible faith-based objects in your celebrations.
What about a nativity scene? Or an Advent wreath? What about putting up a Bible verse?
On a certain level, making your faith visible seems like a very superfluous thing to suggest. After all, things are just things. I realize that.
But with each passing year, more and more Christmas carols get pushed aside by Santa songs, depictions of Jesus and Mary get replaced with Rudolf and Frosty, and conversations about the meaning of Christmas can neglect any mention of God and get usurped with generic words about happiness and giving.
I’m not bitter about it. In fact, I think that being on the margins of our changing society can be a very good thing when it comes to strengthening and focusing our faith. But that’s just the point:
The more you stand out for your faith the more you stand firm in your faith. Being different reminds us to be different—to think, talk and act in a way that is faithful to God, instead of just blending in with the crowd.
December 25th isn’t about happiness and giving—although there is often some happiness and giving on the agenda; it’s about God coming to us personally in Jesus, drawing us back to his heart, in and through the most unsuspecting of circumstances, for the renovation and healing of the world.
Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 16:13 is eternally relevant: “stand firm in the faith…”
Make your faith visible. Standing out helps you stand firm.
By Matthew Ruttan
—Click here to read, “Why Christmas is difficult for so many people.” At this twinkle-twinkle time of year, I think it includes some important things to consider.
—“Are there ‘signs’ that the end is coming?” That’s my sermon this coming Sunday. It’s Part 3 in the Armageddon series. If you’re close by and don’t have a church home you should join in!
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.