For most people, December is a hectic month. Most importantly, we should celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The holiday season is also when we get together with friends, fellow employees, and family. And it’s a time to express our love and appreciation for each other through gift giving.
The Christmas holiday can be an exciting, fun-filled time or a depressing, lonely time. It’s great when family or friends that we haven’t seen in a long time come home. However, it can be a sad time for those who miss family because they live too far away or they have passed.
I remember the first Christmas after my father died. I was very close to him. He was always there to encourage, comfort, and give me fatherly advice. I missed him dearly. But instead of focusing on his absence, I concentrated on the fact that he was in my future.
In 1979, Southwestern Bell, which later became AT&T, launched the slogan, “Reach Out and Touch Someone.” It was meant to encourage people to use their telephone service to contact their friends and family. That was the era when calling someone outside your city was a toll call. I remember that we always kept our long-distance calls to a minimum because of the expense.
In the age of cell phones, we can call someone instantly regardless of where they live. But we often resort to texting instead. We are guilty of saying, “I’ll just text because I don’t want to take the time to talk.” I am concerned that we are so caught up in technology that we are neglecting to touch people in a personal way.
We encounter hurting people every day. As Christians, it is our privilege and duty to reach out to the lonely, depressed, and brokenhearted. Jesus’ mission in coming to this earth is found in Luke 4:18–19 (NKJV), “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
I want to encourage you to reach out and touch someone this Christmas. Let it be a time to minister to the needs of others.Lynette Hagin
Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He delegated that mission to the Church. He also left these instructions to the disciples, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12 NKJV).
As Christians, we are responsible to “reach out and touch someone.” During the holiday, let’s be sensitive to those who are experiencing loss in their life. Each year Ken and I reach out to someone who is going through a difficult situation and include them in our Christmas dinner.
We have reached out to those who were going through a divorce, those who have lost loved ones, and others who have no family close by and would spend Christmas alone. We invited them to celebrate with our family. Often they’ve said, “We don’t want to intrude.” Our response always was, “You are not intruding. That is what Christmas is all about—giving to others.”
I want to encourage you to reach out and touch someone this Christmas. Let it be a time to minister to the needs of others. Make sure you are not so wrapped up in the busyness of preparing for the holiday that you fail to enjoy time with your family.
I used to get so stressed out about finding the right gifts to surprise my family that I dreaded the Christmas holiday. One year I decided that was ridiculous. So I asked everyone to give me a list of what they wanted. I have even taken them shopping before Christmas and let them pick out their gifts.
Then I would tell them, “You can’t have these presents until Christmas.” I wrapped and put the gifts under the tree. By the time Christmas came, they had forgotten what they had picked out and were still surprised!
In conclusion, I want to say “thank you” to you, our partners. You make it possible for us to reach the world with the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. Have a wonderful Christmas!
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