December 18, 2012

"It Only Takes One Christmas!"

John 3:16-21

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
—John 3:16


Many people readily complain that department stores and radio stations play Christmas music far ahead of the season: “The ‘world’ has kidnapped Christmas!” But since it is the feast of God’s love for the world, shouldn’t the whole world celebrate?

We might wonder if the message of Christ, broadcast through so much Christmas music, makes a difference to anyone who is not a believer. But it can. The Spirit of God works in many different ways to bring people to faith in Jesus. And for some people, as a friend of mine once said, “It only takes one Christmas!”

Does our Christmas celebration tell the whole good-news story? John 3:16 certainly touches all the main points: God’s love, for the world, shown in the gift of the Son, so that whoever believes has eternal life.

This year, let’s have the kind of Christmas that tells the whole story. How? That’s a good question to ponder.

A friend told his family one year that they would be getting smaller presents, because he was handing out cash to homeless people. Some families skip their big dinner on Christmas to serve a meal at a shelter. Another person may finally smile at that lonely classmate or neighbor and break the ice to begin a friendship.

There must be a world of ways to show God’s cosmic love.

Father, forgive us for holding back; help us share your love as you lead us. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Morris Greidanus

Beginning in 1964, Morris Greidanus served churches in Alberta, Ontario, and Michigan. He was campus pastor at the University of Toronto from 1968 to 1974. After retiring in 2002, he served on various interim tasks in churches and educational institutions until he passed away in 2017. Morris and his wife, Alice, were married 58 years and had three children, five grandchildren, and a growing number of great-grandchildren.

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