Reflecting Christ in 2020: 12 Days of Christmas Kindness
The meaning of Christmas can sometimes be overtaken by commercialism and financial worries. For many people, 2020 has been filled with added burdens of illness, family conflict, unemployment and mental health issues from the global pandemic.
How can we put Christ back into Christmas and spread a message of hope? A simple way to reflect Jesus’ light is through random acts of kindness. Instead of giving gifts or celebrating ’12 Days of Christmas’, consider ’12 Days of Kindness’.
These are just a few suggestions but you might consider creating your own list:
TELL THE STORY
Praise the Lord for the real gift of Christmas: Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour! Pray for ways to share the life-changing gospel story with people you know who need to hear the good news of forgiveness, salvation and new life available through Christ.
‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us).’ Isaiah 7:14 (ESV)
BE A PEACEMAKER
As you prepare for Christmas, pray that God will provide opportunities for you to share the peace of Christ with others as you reflect his love and grace.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. – Matthew 5:9 (NIV)
Can you think of someone who may need encouragement this week? Visit someone who may be feeling lonely or write a card to let them know they are in your thoughts.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
Why not spend time packing a care package for a homeless shelter or making a donation to a charity?
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done. – Proverbs 19:17 (NIV)
SHARE THE LOVE
Jesus looked past our sin and shame to die in our place and bring us back into everlasting relationship with our heavenly Father. Sometimes, loving people can be difficult. Are there people in your community who may feel left out of festivities at this time of the year? Think of ways you could share God’s love with them in practical ways. Perhaps you could spend time talking with residents at a nursing home or volunteering at a soup kitchen.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (NIV)
The events of the past year in particular have added to the fear and anxiety many people around the nation are experiencing. Something simple like giving someone a call or reading a Bible verse with them might help to remind them of the hope they have in Christ.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13 (NIV)
SHARE A MEAL
Is there someone you know who may be feeling lonely at this time of the year? Invite them over to dinner or even to a place at the table on Christmas Day.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me – Matthew 25:35a (NIV)
Showing someone how much you appreciate them can make their day. A small act of kindness can really go a long way! You might like to write a card to your pastor/minister or church leader to thank them for the extra work they have done behind the scenes to prepare online services during lockdown. You could also give a card or chocolates to your local supermarket, hospital, post office or school.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. – Philippians 1:3 (NIV)
BE A CHEERLEADER
Many high school students have faced extra struggles of online learning and uncertainties surrounding their futures. Think of a way you can cheer them on for how well they have done in spite of the adversities they have faced.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds – Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)
LIGHTEN THE LOAD
What are some practical ways you can help to bear someone’s burden by doing a random act of kindness for them? You could offer to babysit for a family needing a break, mow the lawn for an elderly neighbour or cook a meal for a friend who may be doing it tough.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
HONOUR YOUR FAMILY
Think of five people who are important to you – relatives or those who are as close as family – and spend time telling them what you love and appreciate about them. Do something special together.
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. – Proverbs 17:6 (NIV)
PAY IT FORWARD
Show kindness to a stranger by paying for their coffee, putting a tip in the jar at a local cafe or offering to help someone in need.
Do for other people what you would like to have them do for you. – Luke 6:31 (NLT)