Christmas Questions

December 25, 2017

The Apostle Paul tells us:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)

How can we fulfill this verse this week? That is, how can we celebrate Christmas and New Years to the glory of God?

Christians frequently lament that Christ is not at the center of our Christmas celebrations. While this is indeed lamentable, we often speak as if those celebrations are like the weather, completely out of our control. But by our attitudes, actions, and questions we can move every celebration – whether an office party or a family gathering – more toward Christ-centeredness. The movement may consist of only one conversation, but by our boldness in broaching these subjects we let the light of the Gospel shine through us onto our families and friends.

One way to glorify God in our holiday gatherings is through the questions we ask. Here are some questions, most from Don Whitney (Christmas questions, New Years questions), that you can use around Christmas and New Years to deepen conversations and to move toward a discussion of Christ Himself. Some are baby steps in that direction, others are deeper; some are appropriate for anyone, others only for professed believers. But consider how you might use these this next week:

  • Which past Christmas stands out in your memory? Why?
  • What’s the most meaningful Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
  • What was the most appreciated Christmas gift you’ve ever given?
  • What was your favorite Christmas tradition as a child?
  • Is there a particular Scripture passage you look forward to hearing at Christmas? Why?
  • Do you have a favorite Christmas story other than the biblical accounts? Tell me about it.
  • What do you do to try to keep Christ in Christmas?
  • Why do you think people started celebrating the birth of Jesus?
  • Why do you think Jesus came to earth?
  • Why do you think Jesus was born to a poor family?
  • Do you think the birth of Jesus deserves a big celebration?
  • What’s the relationship between Christmas and Easter? Why do you think Christmas is celebrated so much more than Easter in our country? Do you think this is right?
  • What Christmas carol do you think captures the meaning of Christmas particularly well? What truths does it bring out?
  • What’s the best thing that’s happened to you in 2017?
  • What habits do you want to break or develop during the New Year?
  • What is the biggest time-waster in your life, and what steps will you take to overcome it this year?
  • What single thing do you want to do in 2018 that will matter most in 10 years? In 100 years?
  • For whose salvation will you pray for consistently this year? Can I ask you about that in a few months?
  • What habit would you like to establish this year?
  • In addition to the Bible, what book do you look forward to reading this year?

Consider how you will you respond if your conversation partner turns any of the above questions back to you. “Do all to the glory of God.” How will your answers fulfill that command?

The answers we give to other questions can also help move conversations in ways that magnify our Lord. When we see relatives and friends after a long separation, many will ask, “How have you been?” What will you say? I encourage you to answer by describing one of the ways God has blessed you in Christ this year, or a particularly challenging circumstance that God has brought you through or that you continue to struggle with by God’s grace. Resist the urge to say, “Fine! Good!” or to focus on your job, your possessions, or your physical health.

God created us to glorify Him. This season presents us with unusual opportunities to magnify the grace of God through Jesus Christ in our lives, despite all the distortions of commercialization and secularization. I pray that each of us might take advantage of those opportunities, showing that we savor Jesus above all by the questions we ask and the answers we give, by our listening ears and our willing hands.

 

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