Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Christmas ET - reaching everyone

The famous Band Aid Christmas single asked, “Do they know it’s Christmas?” Come December people living in the United Kingdom will hardly be able to avoid knowing that it is Christmas time. The shops will be packed with punters buying presents for loved ones. Seasonal lights will illuminate darkened High Streets. Christmas trees will adorn many a home and piles of hot mine pies will be hungrily devoured. To top it all a rather rotund chap with a snowy white beard and bright red clothes will suddenly become rather ubiquitous. His booming laugh will echo all around, “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

They’ll know it’s Christmas alright. But will they know the true message of Christmas? That’s another story. And it’s our job to tell the story of the Saviour’s birth. The only hope for lost men, women, boys and girls is that they come to believe in Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.

There are many ways in which we can go about making Jesus known at Christmas time. Churches will hold special services where carols are sung and the good news of Christ’s coming is proclaimed. We will certainly be doing that. But, sadly it is often the case that only a small proportion of people in our communities will attend such events. For the past few years members of the local FIEC and Grace Baptist Churches have gathered in Trowbridge High Street to sing carols and declare the message of Christmas. We hope that these occasions have been a good witness to the gospel. But we can only reach those who happen to be passing by at the time. Churches nationwide will no doubt engage in other activities along these lines and I’m certainly not knocking such efforts. May the Lord use them all to his glory! But if we want to reach virtually every home in a village or a certain part of town, then there’s nothing for it but literature distribution.

In recent years the churches I serve, Peknap Providence Church, Westbury and Ebenezer Baptist Church, West Lavington have delivered the special Christmas Evangelical Times to homes in our area. This edition of the paper is always jam packed full of well-written evangelistic messages, thought-provoking articles on aspects of biblical apologetics, and moving personal testimonies to God’s life-transforming grace. A blank space is left on the front page for Churches to display contact information and the times of their Christmas events.

We usually order 1000 copies per church. It takes a bit of effort to organise the distribution of the papers, but members and friends of the churches are usually more than willing to take a pile of ET’s for posting in their assigned part of the village or town. As yet we have not had an influx of people coming along to our Christmas services as a result of delivering the December edition of Evangelical Times. But we persist in sowing the seed of the word, looking to the Lord to make this venture fruitful for the salvation of lost sinners.

Do they know the message of Christmas? I’m afraid that many don’t. But it is our prayer that everyone who receives a copy of Evangelical Times this December and takes the time to read it will come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

If your church hasn’t distributed Christmas ET’s in the past, why not give it a try this year? Who knows whether the God of all grace will use this means to draw people in your area to new life in Christ by the power of his Spirit? After all, as the angel Gabriel said to Mary at the Annunciation, “with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37).

Order bulk copies of the ET Christmas issue before 5th November and take advantage of discounted prices. Scroll down the Evangelical Times website for details.

* This article appeared in the October edition of ET.

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