Hopefully by now we’ve all recovered from all of the eating we’ve done over the past few weeks between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Usually a few days after eating “holiday food” during Thanksgiving and Christmas I am just ready to go and get some fast food from somewhere. Give me a cheeseburger! This time of the year is unique in that we eat certain foods and amounts of certain foods only at this time of the year. But after a while, we get tired of it and just want a sense of normalcy. We want to just eat the kinds and amounts of food we are used to eating. We want the living room back to how it usually is decorated and all the furniture in the right place. And if we’re honest, we want it just to be our family again. We have people overload and just want it quiet and calm and normal.
Likewise, from a ministry perspective this time of year gives a local church unique once in a year opportunities to reach out to our community with the Good News of the Gospel. Both the kinds of outreaches we do and the “amount” of outreaches we do intensify during this season of the year.
However, there’s a difference in the feasting on ministry and outreach that we do that is unique to this time of year as opposed to the feasting we do on food and other unique aspects of the Holiday Season. The Thanksgiving and Christmas food along with the decorations, presents, as well as the family and friends we spend time with are all not the norm. We only do this once a year. And then we return to normalcy. And when it comes to the ministry opportunities we engage in over these months, there is sometimes a sense when January 1st rolls around of, “Glad that’s behind us, now things can get back to normal.” But what if that is the “normal” for the local church and Christians. Is it possible that what’s abnormal are the other eleven months of the year where we don’t put in the same intentional effort in prayer, giving, sharing, planning, sacrificing to reach our community and the world with the Gospel?
Maybe as we approach a new year and make new resolutions that one of the ones we need to make, maybe the most important one as a local church, is a commitment to a “new normal” when it comes to ministry and outreach to lost people. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:15, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” Christmas is about Jesus coming to save sinners, but He didn’t just come to save sinners for the month of December. Therefore, throughout the entire year, every month and every day of our lives, let us live and love, give and go like Jesus came to save sinners and intentionally pray and work to join Jesus in pursuing sinners in need of a Savior.