Holidays can come with a mixture of emotions stirred up like a snow globe shaken by a child. Thoughts, feelings, and memories swirl around inside us all. Unlike a snow globe, we can’t see what’s going on below the surface of other people’s lives. They can’t see what’s going on inside of us, either. But no matter who we are or how good or bad life feels, we could all use a friend with an encouraging word.
A Story from Pop Culture
“Doesn’t anybody know the true meaning of Christmas?!?” shouts the perpetually-frustrated Charlie Brown as he and his friends struggle to coordinate their seasonal pageant. The young boy is jaded by consumerism and failed attempts to find happiness and purpose. The scrawny little tree drooping under the weight of a single ornament perfectly reflects his feelings of futility. Like the writer of Ecclesiastes, the exasperated cartoon finds that no matter what he or anyone tries to do, everything feels empty and meaningless.
The story changes when one friend steps up to humbly-yet-clearly take the opportunity to share the Christmas story—the true reason for the season. Linus recites the biblical account of shepherds hearing the Good News of Jesus’ birth. At least one pastor has suggested that the joy and peace of the gospel is so profound, that the character drops his safety blanket while gesturing with both hands to tell the story.* *
A Story from Scripture
Think about this familiar story of angels proclaiming the birth of Jesus to shepherds at work in nearby fields. So many things could be said, but let’s focus on one thing—telling the story.
The word angel literally means messenger. The shepherds received the greatest message ever. In fact, it was “good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10).
What was this good news? God kept His promise. The time of waiting was over. The Messiah had finally arrived. He was the Savior of the world. This is the gospel story. Gospel literally means good news.
Look at the chain of events as the Christmas story was told.
- The angels comforted the shepherds and shared this exciting news. (Luke 2:10–12)
- The shepherds hurried off, leaving their flocks, in response to what they were told. (Luke 2:15–16)
- After experiencing Jesus for themselves, “they spread the word.” (Luke 2:17)
- All who heard their testimony “were amazed.” (Luke 2:18)
- The truth of the story led to glorifying and praising God. (Luke 2:13–4,19–20)
Sharing the Good News led to great joy—for the shepherds, for all who heard their story, and on and on and on from one person to the next until your life was changed too. But the gospel doesn’t stop with you. You get to join the long tradition of passing the message along so that the people around you humbly-yet-clearly hear the true meaning of Christmas.
A Story from Your Life
Maybe you’ve felt like Charlie Brown and needed a friend to remind you of the Good News and what Christmas is all about. Even as pastors and leaders, we can get so caught up in the logistics of worship services and special events that the heart of it all feels lost. You may even be tempted to give up. Let us be the friend who reminds you—the Savior, Christ our Lord, was born. You are now part of His story—an amazing story that glorifies God and inspires worship.
There are people all around you who need to be reminded of what Christmas is all about. They’re struggling. Any number of circumstances could be overwhelming them right now. They need a message of Good News and great joy.
Your work matters. YOU MATTER. Your story matters… and just might change someone’s life.
When have you felt overwhelmed, burnt out, or hopeless?
What happened to change your perspective?
How did you see Christ in that experience?
Who else needs to experience the joy only found in the gospel?
Pray for eyes to see and ears to hear the opportunities for sharing the true meaning of Christmas. Spread the word. Christ has come (and will come again). This is Good News.
Have you downloaded your copy of How to BLESS People with Your Story yet? Be sure to get all of our free disciple-making resources by signing up for the Rooted Network email list below.
How to BLESS People with Your Story is adapted from content in two of our group-discipleship resources that introduce and reinforce the rhythm of sharing your story. Free samples are available to preview Rooted: Connect with God, the Church, and Your Purpose and the newly updated Life in Rhythm: God’s Design for Work and Relationships (now available for presale).