Stretching out Christmas Dr. Craig Kraft
/ Thursday, December 24, 2020
If you are like me, you are wishing that we could hold on to Christmas a little bit longer.
I don’t want to take the tree down or put away the decorations. Is it ok to sing Christmas carols and eat cookies for a few more days?
Outreach Canada is transitioning into a new season in January. We will have a new theme on our website and social media pages: “You will be my witnesses.” Our theme verse is Acts 1:8 but today I would like to look back briefly at Luke 2:16-18.
“They (The Shepherds) hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger. After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.”
An important part of the Christmas story is the witness of the shepherds who went and told others about the amazing things they had experienced with the angels and the baby in the manger. People listened to their story and were amazed!
We all like to tell stories, especially our own stories. We return from a vacation and can’t wait to tell our co-workers about it. We can’t wait to show pictures of our kids or grandkids to anyone who will look at them, and we love to tell people about exciting things that happen in our lives, “You won’t believe what happened…”
Unfortunately, time seems to dim our memories and we stop telling some of the most important stories. Christmas season is an annual reminder of an important story that needs to be re-told over and over. God loves us and sent his son into the world to have a relationship with us and to offer us forgiveness and reconciliation with him.
The Church exists in your community today because there have been faithful witnesses in every generation from the time of these shepherds to today. Will you join me in being a witness in 2021? Let’s continue to tell the great story of God’s love for us, the gift of his son Jesus, and the offer of salvation to all who will receive it.
Let’s stretch out Christmas through all of 2021 by continuing to tell the story. May our lives be a living witness to the good news of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Craig Kraft is the Executive Director of Outreach Canada. Craig and his wife Heather have four adult sons. They were involved in pastoral ministry in western Canada for fifteen years before becoming missionaries with OC. Craig served with OC in southern Africa and now leads the ministry in Canada. After returning from Africa, Craig assisted with the formation of the OC Global Alliance, a partnership of over one thousand missionaries working around the world. Craig is a graduate of Northwest Baptist Seminary at ACTS and a graduate of Asia Graduate School of Theology with a Doctor of Intercultural Studies. His study has focused on diaspora missiology in Canada. His dissertation explores the potential for revitalizing Canadian churches through the practice of biblical hospitality with refugees and immigrants.