Preparing for Christmas #3: Profess
Christmas is almost here. Are you ready?
When I drafted my initial blog, Preparing for Christmas, I had no idea it would turn into a three-part series! We first addressed repentance (i.e., getting our hearts right with the Lord and removing the sin barrier). Next, we tackled our beliefs (i.e., reminding ourselves to hold firm to what we believe about Christmas while keeping doubt at bay). What should be next in our preparation for Christmas? How about…
Repent – Believe – Profess
I’m not talking about confessing our wrongdoings. We already took care of that in repentance. I’m urging us to verbally declare the true meaning of Christmas to others. I looked up synonyms for profess and ran across the word “own.” This really resonated with me. We gain so much when we own the truth about Christmas. When we own why Jesus came—to give us hope and an abundant life (John 10:10)—we can experience the true joy of Christmas. More importantly, when we profess what we believe, we have the opportunity to share with others the reason for our hope.
Years ago in a church service, I remember a pastor asking us a series of questions. Let me paraphrase what he said.
Do people know why you are happy? Do those around you know where your peace and your joy comes from? If you don’t tell them the source of your hope, then they just think you’re a good person living a good life. They don’t understand Jesus is your source.
I have never forgotten his words, but I have an admission. I have worried in the past about what others might think about my testimony. Will I say the right thing? Will they think I am a hypocrite because I fall short at times? Sadly, when we fall into this way of thinking, we shy away from sharing the gospel, the message of Christmas. The truth of the matter is this—if our hearts are aligned with God’s heart, we should want to profess the good news. Shouldn’t we want for others what God so graciously gives to us (e.g., love, joy, peace, hope, grace, mercy)? Isn’t it worth it?
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15 Who has God purposefully placed in your life—family, friends, colleagues, students, parents—that need to hear the message of Christmas? I seriously cannot think of a better Christmas gift than the gift of a changed life through the person Jesus. When the greatest gift of Christmas—Jesus—is received, we are no longer alone. Jesus comes to live inside us, giving us strength in place of weakness, courage in place of fear, and vibrant life in all those dark places that once felt dead. Because of Jesus, Immanuel, we never have to be alone. He is God with us! (1)
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:23
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
As we approach our final preparations for the holidays, let’s profess the good news of Christmas so that lives will be changed forever!
Go tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and everywhere. Go tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born!
If you missed the first two blogs in the series, you can access them by clicking on the hyperlinks below.
(1) A Celebration of Christmas, Hillcrest Baptist Church, December 2020