A Year-Round Celebration
January 2022

By a member of SEND’s Diaspora | North America team"Daddy, I want a tree! Can we get a tree, please? Please can we get a tree? Daddy, we need a Christmas tree!" As the young refugee son pleaded with his father, the father looked at us. "He really wants a tree, what can I say? Ok, I will get you a tree. It is not our custom, but I will get you a tree." As we reflect back over Christmas and all the various customs and traditions that have entered into the season, which ones are most helpful to you? Which ones draw you in and point you to Christ?How confusing it must be to Muslims newly arriving in our country. In America, almost everyone celebrates Christmas, which is a Christian holiday. So everyone must be a Christian, right? Well actually, we have to explain to these new arrivals that not everyone who celebrates Christmas is a Christian. Actually, only about 20% of the people celebrating Christmas are Christians. In Matthew 12, Jesus talks about recognizing a tree by its fruit. Would someone know you are a Christian by the fruit of your life? How would they know that you are different from the other 80% celebrating Christmas? Whether we are sharing with a new refugee or a neighbor or colleague at work, what is it that sets us apart? Following Jesus' words is a good place to start: first, we demonstrate our love for God, and second, we demonstrate our love for our neighbor.

Is there a vibrant love for God in your life? There is no better time than the beginning of a new year to reaffirm our love for God. And while we are at it, let’s ask him to help us love our neighbors too! While there is nothing wrong with having family traditions at Christmastime, we need to make sure that Christ shines brightest. And this should be true for the rest of the year as well. As the Christmas tree ornaments are taken down and carefully packed away for another year, we can remind ourselves that the event of Christmas - Emmanuel - God with us - is actually a year-round celebration. Christ came as the ultimate missionary, he entered our world, identified with us, he loved God and he loved his neighbors as he served and suffered. All that we might have life!Look for and take the opportunity to find either a newly arrived refugee or someone who has been here longer, but is still isolated. Share with them God’s love by being a friend to them. Let God shine his grace and mercy through you into their lives through simple things like just being kind and helpful.

Share with us two ways that you are reaching out to your Muslim neighbors in this new year. Click here to email us.

Give to SEND’s Muslim ministry projects.

Explore how SEND teams are reaching Muslims here.

10/10 Prayer Initiative

  • Join with others around the world in praying for 10% of the Muslim world to come to Christ in 10 years. Is your church ready to welcome new Muslim background believers? Is your church reaching out to Muslims in your area? Why don’t you consider inviting some members of your church to join you in praying the 10/10 prayer? "Dear God, please bring 10% of the Muslim world to yourself in the next ten years, and help us as a church to step out in faith to be a part of that miracle!"
  • Pray for wisdom, because new Covid variants are closing doors to countries that missionaries are trying to get into. It is also making it very challenging for planning home service trips because if you leave, you might not be able to get back into the country.
  • Pray for Christian workers trying to get back into Afghanistan. The country is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster due to a drought, and with food prices and unemployment both going through the roof. Combined with this is the fact that banks in Afghanistan are mostly closed and thus there is a cash shortage as well, which compounds the food crisis. Much wisdom and help are needed soon.
  • Many missionaries have written a new annual plan for the new year. Pray for God’s leading in implementing these plans, and that we might always be in step with the Spirit.


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