The Opportunity of Christmas

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I kind-of cringed last month – not last week, last month – when Christmas made its way into the aisles of some of my usual shopping venues. I’m sorry, but sometimes it is too early to summon Santa in the hope of turning a buck or two on a season still weeks down the road.

But it is not too early to begin planning, promoting, and praying about Advent experiences that are on the FBC horizon. Christmas gives us a great opportunity to tap into meaningful traditions and enjoy events that lift our spirits and deepen our faith. It is also a prime time to see Christmas through the eyes of our community and invite them to start new traditions that their families will love. And in so doing, perhaps they will encounter Christ and his followers in new, rich, and deep ways.

In a few weeks, we will be sending out thousands of mailers to our community. Here’s what the opening text sounds like:

This year, start a Christmas tradition your family will love. At FBC St. Pete, we find many ways to celebrate God’s gift of love, peace, and hope that came in the form of a baby boy. Joyful, meaningful Advent worship, musical presentations, helpful, caring events, and an intimate family Christmas Eve gathering light the way. We are honored to be part of the St. Pete community and invite you to experience the birth of Christ into our world in ways that speak to your heart and to the heart of your family. We look forward to welcoming you!

This outreach piece will tell folks about a concert, Advent worship, musical celebration, a family meal, a service of peace and hope, and an intimate Christmas Eve experience. As Christians, we naturally gravitate to such things. Truth is, as the Spirit moves, so too do folks who still haven’t found what they are looking for in life. Pray that our own Christ-centered and community-sensitive offerings will light their way this Christmas, along with ours.