- Rockwood Church of God published a newsletterReadThe Master's VisionDecember 2022
Can it really be Christmas time already? It seems like only yesterday that we were decking the halls and celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ! I love this time of year with all its festivities and family gatherings and music and lights. I love what we celebrate even more. The birth of Jesus was a pivotal event in the redemptive history of our world. I love Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of John’s description of Jesus entering the world, “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish.” John 1:14 (MSG). Jesus willingly moved into our neighborhood so that we could be introduced to what living a kingdom life looks like. Jesus came to live out the redemptive message He calls us to take to the world. The message of Christmas is a message of sending. The father sends the Son into the world to capture our hearts and in turn sends us into the world to help change the world by his love. Just as Jesus came to the neighborhood, we are called to follow his example and move into the neighborhood as well, to live out the message of the Gospel and share it with our world, to become Missional Christians. Alan Hirsch wrote in his book, Right Here Right Now, “what will be required to engage in missional Christianity is to simply reach out beyond our fears and ignorance of others, to overcome our middle-class penchant for safety, to take a risk and get involved in what God is already doing in our cities and neighborhoods.” The Christmas season is a great time to do that. Christmas is a time when people have a different attitude toward neighbors and where goodwill is the order of the day. We should seize the opportunity to use this goodwill for God’s Kingdom purpose. It could be as simple as taking your neighbors an inexpensive gift or homemade goodie. Invite that, “person of peace” you have been praying for over for dinner or take them out to dinner. Be creative, be bold, look to see where God is at work and join Him. And if you are fed up with the over commercialism of the season, do something about it. As Missional people we are to live a lifestyle that challenges the forces in our popular culture. “Jesus became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” I believe he is challenging us to move into our neighborhood as well. What is God calling you to do this year to help you live out your missional calling to your neighborhood? I look forward to hearing the stories of how you creatively engaged your neighbors with the message of Jesus this holiday season.
Kris and I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a joy-filled New Year!
- Dec16Friday, December 16th • 5–9 pm