I am amazed that there is such receptivity to attending church on these days, even if there is no desire to attend a church the other 364 days out of the year. Perhaps the nostalgia, Hollywood movies, childhood memories, or desire for belonging, softens hearts to look for something more this time of year. Whatever the reason, statistics show that a positive response to an invitation this time of year far surpasses that of any other time.
We can seize this moment for those that are lost or disconnected from God and His church. Your invitation to pick them up, wait for them upon their arrival, assistance through the service, or introduction to others after the service over cookies and finger foods could be the the most important gift for which you need to prepare. We never know what God may seek to do in the hearts of those who come into our community on Christmas.
Beyond merely inviting individuals for one service however, we can also be intentional to help them discover what we have in Christ by helping connect to our church community. Resolve to come in January to our six week study on Wednesday nights and bring them along. They will experience the fellowship that we have found over a meal and meaningful conversation. They can also bring their kids of all ages to connect with our own, in a safe and fun environment.
Can you imagine what would happen if we approached our Christmas Eve and Day services with the same level of warmth, joy, and love we lavish on those who enter our own homes those same days? Such hospitality and an invitation into our community could transform a life. We have an opportunity to approach this season, and the start of next year with the same level of attention, detail, and planning that we do with our other parties and gatherings.
Whether your personal invitation is responded to or not, there are many who will walk through our doors who are searching for something next week. We can help them find it. Through our gracious care, our sensitivity to them, and through hearts prepared to help them encounter the mystery of the ages revealed in Jesus Christ. It is my prayer that all who come into our midst will find belonging, community, and relationship as we make Christ known to them. We are reminded by Jesus in John 13:35, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." Let us prepare our hearts to share His love.