Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. – 2 Corinthians 3:2-3
This is almost my favorite Christmas decoration. It’s an intricate antique paper cut-out, hand-done, that Rebekah found in an antique store, then cleaned, mounted, and framed. If you look closely you can see it represents a well-known Christmas carol in the shape of a tree. Everything from those frisky leaping lords, the milking maids, and five gold rings, to that partridge sitting way up at the top.
We all know the song is an allegory representing the twelve tribes of Israel, the eleven faithful apostles, the four gospels, the Trinity, and so much more. People would sing the song as a way to celebrate some of the basics of Christianity during a time where it was dangerous to be open about faith.
Every time I sing the song, or look at the decoration, I think about what I do (or fail to do) to communicate the Good News, especially when and where being direct about the Gospel would do nothing more than open up a deeper gap between Christ’s grace-filled invitation and the world’s great need.
We are Living Greetings-cards:
This is what we need to understand about communicating God’s love. It’s not about us or our need to evangelize, it’s about the message being actually heard and received. Let’s not confuse talking at people with sharing God’s love.
Christmas is the perfect opportunity to be living, breathing, Christmas cards! Who we are – and how we are – tells the story of the Good News we proclaim. Fact is, our lives are always telling some kind of a story. Our opportunity is to tell a good story, to tell The Good Story.
When people meet me (or you), what message about Christmas do they hear, or see, or understand? What story do we broadcast, simply via who we are? I want my story to be one of love, and grace, and peace, and hope, and joy, and promise.
So think of yourself as a Christmas greeting! Who we are tells the truth about the kind of Gospel we believe. Are we the message people need to hear this year? Are you an open invitation to meet Jesus?
Something to think about going forward – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.