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Thinking of Others at Christmas

View from the pew

Photo by Scripture Union NSW

As we approach Christmas, I can’t help but notice the selflessness that this time of year inspires in each of us. Believer and non-believer alike, we’re encouraged to stop and think of others if only for a moment to consider what they might like, what brings them joy, what will provide satisfaction for them. Whether it is that perfect gift, that extra effort to go out of our way to make time for someone special or perhaps just a smile to lonely stranger. There’s something special about this season.

When I volunteered for a Scripture Union Family Mission (SUFM or ‘Beach Mission’) I was passionate to preach the gospel to the lost – but I’ve only recently considered how well it fits into this season.

As a Christian, it’s easy to see how Christmas inspires us to think of others. We celebrate the time that God fulfilled the promises made in the Old Testament, and gave us the most valuable, selfless gift he could have possibly given. He hollowed out more than a few hours for us in his schedule—offering us eternity with him!

So, what’s the most selfless gift I can give this Christmas? To share this gift with others. God might use me to save a life. A gift sure to bring ultimate satisfaction and joy.

Every year I thank God for the peek through the keyhole into heaven that is SUFM. Living in community, parents lovingly disciplining their children and encouraging them in the ways of the Lord, uplifting each other in word and prayer daily, and consistently people to Christ for God’s glory.

Each year as we prepare for Beach mission:

  • We plan on how to engage people where they’re at;
  • We discuss and rearrange our daily and weekly timetable of mission to ensure we use every moment to share the good news with others whether that’s personally or as team as some rest and others serve;
  • We pray that God might save the lost and be working in them before we even meet them. We talk to those who have gone before us and are blessed with the wisdom of 150 years of missionaries who have served in the same format of mission over the years.

How incredible would it be if that was our experience all year round? Imagine if we sat down at the beginning of the year or on holidays and spent a day sitting under God’s word:

  • Considering our weekly timetable and finding time to intentionally bring glory to God;
  • Surrounding ourselves with a community of believers with that same goal who can serve while we rest and vice versa;
  • Engaging with those who are at different life stages as we sit around a table to have a meal;
  • And consistently upholding each other in prayer and spurring each other on with encouragements from God’s word, being open and ready to learn and grow together.

Please pray for SU missions commencing up and down the east coast directly after Christmas. Particularly Shoalhaven Heads (Ellyn Parker and Meaghan Gates) and Byron Bay (Jonny Hann and Caitlin McMillan) as we seek first the kingdom of God by sharing the gospel through genuine relationships and encouraging growth in a personal faith both within the teams we disciple and those we meet.

Meaghan Gates
7pm congregation

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Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong

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