The Gospel in Spite of Christmas and New Year's

by J. Randal Matheny, editor
Here in Brazil, the end of the year is doubly big, since the school year also ends in December. Though we homeschool, we still have to adjust to the social events around us, like our daughter’s music school recital held last week.
Add to that that January is the main vacation month, in full southern-hemisphere summer time, and that Carnaval usually falls in February, and you have the makings of three consecutive months of special events and programming, if not near chaos.
No wonder that in Brazil people say that the year never starts until after Carnaval.
Some seem to think such worldly scheduling makes it harder to get the gospel out to people. As if it were time for the church to scale back its efforts, wait for a better season, and hold off on doing much of anything.
But for every one who travels and vacations and parties, another is sitting at home, waiting for a visit, a study, an invitation, a demonstration of love.
The young may be strutting their stuff at the beach, but busy, holiday and special times may be just the moment to reach the elderly, the sick, the depressed, the lonely, the unemployed, and the bereaved.
Since when did the church schedule its work to fit into a world’s agenda? Unless our activities partake more of the world’s agenda then the Lord’s, that of parties, and fun, and food, and foolishness.
The church has a single mission, one task, that of a message to deliver and of a soul to save. If we follow the world’s schedule, we’ll not start anything until after Carnaval (or whatever your local customs are).
If we’re doing the Lord’s work, however, we discover that every day is a day of salvation and now is the time for action.
“… proclaim the message. Be ready to do this whether or not the time is convenient” (2 Timothy 4:2 ISV).

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