Preparing for the Holidays

Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time, because the days are evil.”

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year” goes the line of the familiar Christmas song. I think the line should be, “It’s the busiest time of the year.” Most of the problem is our own creation. We try to go to too many parties. We try to buy too many gifts. We try to make too many people happy. Could I offer a solution to this holiday rush? Simplify! Simplify everything. Simply your giving and going. Spend more time on those things that truly “redeem the time.”

Here is my encouragement to simplify.

1. Simplify the gift buying craze. Lest someone think I am Scrooge, I love both giving and receiving gifts. I am just arguing for prudence. Most of what we buy during this time is probably excessive. Seek to give gifts that will advance the Gospel. For example, make a donation to a mission or charitable organization in someone’s honor. As a Southern Baptist, our churches receive a special offering (the Lottie Moon Christmas offering) at this time of the year for International mission efforts.

2. Seek opportunities to share the Gospel. I have read research from church strategist Ed Stetzer which indicated that Christmas is the best time of the year to share the Gospel. Many churches will have special presentations during this season to share the Gospel. Make special efforts to bring unbelieving family members, neighbors, and friends to these presentations.

In so doing we will be redeeming the time during this most busy time of the year.

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