4 Ways to Share Jesus Across Cultures at Christmas
by Karen Bejjani
Can you imagine yourself sharing Jesus across cultures during Christmas? It’s easier than most people imagine, plus it’s a lot of fun. And most importantly, your intentional, humble witness can have eternal significance. Here are four ways you can share Jesus across cultures at Christmas.
Start by inviting an immigrant, international student, or refugee family to come and see what Christmas Eve is all about. Ask them to be your special guest at a Christmas Eve service, followed by dinner with your family.
Years ago, Renod and I invited “Sara and Muhammad” to a Christmas Eve service.
“We would be honored if you’d be our guests at Christmas Eve.”
They said “Yes,” right away. They were international students from an Islamic-ruled nation and were looking forward to experiencing their first Christmas in an American home. They’d never been inside of a Church. And they vaguely understood Christmas to be about Santa, dressing up, and giving gifts.
Put your friends at ease by telling them what they will see and hear when they attend the Christmas Eve service with you.
We invited Sara and Muhammad to our home before the service so that we ride to church together and prepare them for what they could expect. We covered things like…families would be sitting together, there would be music, and our pastor would share a message about why Jesus came to earth from the Holy Bible. We gave them a preview of the gospel by reading and briefly unpacking together the Christmas story in Luke before they heard the message at church.
Unpack the experience together. Ask,
“What questions do you have? What stood out to you?”
We enjoyed watching Sara and Muhammad experience the Christmas message through fresh eyes. Over dinner and gifts at our home, we debriefed their experience. That’s when Sara and Mohammad asked, “Who is Paul? We would like to meet him.”
“Paul?” we asked.
“Yes, Paul,” Sara said. “The Pastor was talking about Paul. Was he in that room with us?”
“Oh! The apostle Paul!”
The Pastor had been quoting Paul from the Bible. And Sara and Mohammad didn’t know who Paul was. When you share Jesus across cultures at Christmas, then debrief, you’re sure to experience fun moments just like this too.
Practice 5 Essentials
As you engage with your friend on Christmas, look for opportunities to practice iHOPE’s 5 Essentials: 1) Love them in words, actions, and deeds, 2) Share the gospel early and often, 3) Share the Bible, 4) Pray with them, in Jesus’ name, and 5) look for a person of peace – someone God might be wooing to Christ. Learn more about how to practice these essentials here.
Start a Tradition
Sharing Jesus across cultures during Christmas has become a treasured family tradition for us. This year, we’ve invited “Ahmad and Amir,” two more Muslim international students from Islamic-ruled nations to join us. Ahmad has been in the US for just a few months, and this will be his first time experiencing Christmas in a Jesus-follower’s home.
My friend, I hope you’ll start a tradition of your own. There’s still time for you to share Jesus across cultures at Christmas. Start small by following these steps. Then email me at [email protected] to tell us how it went.
God bless you and Merry Christmas.
Tags: Christmas, cross-cultural outreach, Share Jesus across cultures at Christmas