It is hard to believe that Christmas is upon us once again. This is also the season of advent where many churches are observing a time of expectant waiting and preparation to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. As Christians, we know the significance of the birth of Jesus. It is in Jesus that we receive the forgiveness of sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). It is in Jesus that we have eternal life (John 3:16). It is in Jesus that God completes His plan of Salvation (1 Peter 1:10 -12). For we know that it salvation is the gift of God and we are thankful to be loved by Him. In celebration of this, many churches will take this time of the year to proclaim the Good News with a display of the Nativity scene, banners and posters.
However, not everyone cares for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. As society becomes increasingly secular, non-believers are using this time of the year to combat the message of Christmas. In the United States of America, a group called American Atheists are known for having billboards in prominent places such as the Times Square in New York City to publically denounce the existence of God. This year, they have created a billboard which encourages people to “skip church” on Christmas with a photograph of Santa Claus as approval. Here in Canada, a group called Centre for Inquiry Canada also have also in the past created ads and banners challenging the Christian faith. In the business or public places, there is a movement to disassociate Christmas from the birth of Jesus Christ altogether.
It is more important than ever for us as believers to be prepared to share the gospel message and to do so with confidence. It is also to this end that I am working with the members of our English congregation to know God personally and be equipped to answer tough questions about our faith. I pray that this Christmas, as we gather with families and friends, God may work in the hearts and minds of those around us so we may have opportunity to share the gospel. May God be exalted!