Philippians 1:12-18a (NRSV)
I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped
to spread the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial
guard and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ; and most of the
brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment,
dare to speak the word with greater boldness and without fear.
proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. These proclaim
Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defense of the
gospel; the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but
intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. What does it matter?
Dear ones, Advent is an especially wonderful time to "speak the word with greater boldness and without fear."
At a time with so many of our family and friends are consummed with the anxiety and stress of a commercial Christmas season, we have the God-given opportunity to share CHRIST and to gently remind others that Jesus is the reason for the season.
If we will pray for our eyes to be opened, we will notice stressed out, anxious, fearful, and grieving people all around us. We will become sensitive to those who are pushed to the margins or laying in the ditch of life. We will hear the cries of the brokenhearted and seek to comfort the oppressed.
As CHRISTIANS, we have something to say to our brothers and sisters who are feeling lost and broken. We can share our own good news testimonies regarding how God has saved us from emotional, spiritual, physical, and/or mental peril. We can reassure others that God promises to bless and comfort those who are mourning. We can confidently speak life into hearts of those in need of resurrection this season.
Advent is a time of waiting. But, as we wait, we can share the love of God with others in need of the Good News Message that they are loved, forgiven, and set free to live abundant, blessed, and joyful lives!
May Christmas JOY be yours and may you share it with others. Peace...
Dear God, please help me to be bold and courageous as I share the good news that Jesus is the reason for the season. Amen.