The carols have started playing in the shopping malls and the coffee shops have begun offering Christmas themed hot drinks. For some people a gingerbread latte is part of their yearly celebration, I tried a salted caramel mocha and will be trying it again as often as possible!!Many Christians loathe the early rush to make Novemeber and December a busy materialistic frenzy. I try instead to see it as a great opportunity to reach out with the message of Jesus. I beleive it is the easiest time of the year to invite people to an event and talk about faith. Like it or not, people around us who have not been in church all year still like to feel ‘Christmassy’ which gives us a unique opportunity to set up meetings, gatherings and conversations that they will join.
Over the last five years we have posted many articles with craft ideas and event inspirations on this website. If you put ‘Christmas’ into our little search box at the top right hand corner you will be able to read a little treasure trove of articles.
This year I am hoping to concentrate on four events, and I am thinking of it in terms of four different circles.
-Front door – I am going to invite my next door neighbour and her husband round for a meal. This past year I have been able to get to know her more and hope that a night together will be the next natural step.
-Street- I am going to invite the neighbours in my street to a mulled wine and mince pie coffee morning, with carols playing in the background and printed invitations to our church services lying on the table. The mince pies will be bought ( as I can’t make them very well) and I find that the mini ones go down really well.
-School gate – we have a new vicar and I will use this as an excuse to ask some of the local school mums to ‘come and hear him’ at one of our Christmas services. There is a traditional candlelit carol evening service and a contemporary children’s morning event, so I will try to pick the right one for the right friend.
-Town – I am a helper at a Christmas crafts event at our local church and will be helping thread fresh cranberries onto garden wire to make cranberry hearts, along with 150 other women. This year we will be selling our tickets in pairs so that everyone remembers this is an outreach event. Felt covered matchboxes, garden greenery wreaths, tissue covered glass vases, willow stars and dried orange and lime garlands will be made. Piano music carols and mince pies will be served surrounded by fairy lights and the aroma of mulled wine.
As I write this, on a quiet early November morning I feel excited at these opportunities ahead but I know that as December arrives I will feel busy, overwhelmed and shy as I actually approach people to ask them. The fear of rejection, even polite, ‘not this time, thank you’ rejection will be there in my mind and I will want to find excuses not to go ahead with the ideas I have planned above. Maybe that is why I have written them down so that I will actually be accountable now and do them!! If you want to make a commitment now to create an event or ask someone to church, then contact us and tell us about it. We will pray for you and by supporting each other we might encourage each other to be more proactive this year. Wouldn’t it make Christmas the best ever if one of your friends came to understand this year for the first time that Jesus is the saviour of the world?