Good morning God,
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Incarnational Christmas ministry
Good morning God,
I do enjoy the greater freedom and liberty I have at this time of the year to be me - to be a minister of the Church - a bearer of good news, a 'Christmas' person and to practice incarnational ministry.
In these last two weeks before Christmas I feel almost as expected as Santa Claus.. well in some quarters anyway.
People who seldom darken the door of the Church but who make great use of our cafe seem to feel the impulse to 'just pop in' and 'light a candle or two' or even 'say a prayer for the old folks'.. And conversation is so much easier and naturally focused...
Jesus is the reason for the season after all...
As always, the real task is finding a way to help your people make use of this gift of your prevenient grace so that the warmed hearts full of Christmas cheer can be used to open the door to lifelong relationships with you and to the great adventure of discipleship.
Most people are incredibly bad at seizing the opportunities you provide us with to talk about you and the difference you can make to life. It's almost as though somewhere along the line we were all brainwashed into believing that talking about you means blurting out all we know about you, from cradle to cross - all before the soul has finished their tea!
But at Christmas it's different - Christmas provides everyone with an excuse for small talk about being away from home at Christmas
about babies and refugees,
about homelessness and loneliness,
about wise-men and daft gifts,
about angels and messages,
about being looked after - and seeing for yourself.
about the bitter cold and hope for the future,
about longing and fear
about the WHY of it all
the search for what's it all FOR?
And it's never easier than at Christmas to strike up a conversation that really could change a life. People are far more receptive to strangers due to the 'Christmas spirit'.
So this is the time to go wherever your people are and be present in the midst of them, wherever.. in the pub, in the gym, at the school gate, in the supermarket, on the high street on the station platform, on the park bench - and of course in the Cafes.. opening up conversations, being the story teller, the gospel bearer, the fool for Christ..
This is the time for riding the bus and giving away free smiles,
for singing all the words to the piped carols in the shops
and for being the quiet present that you provide, the shoulder to cry on, the listening ear, the light shines in the darkness wherever its needed.
This is people time,
And all because - in the fullness of time - you came yourself and gave us the never-ending story to tell.
And I love it - thank you God.