YOU, CHRISTMAS AND MUSLIMS
By Karen Bejjani
Several years ago, I was working in a corporate office in Dallas, Texas. One of my co-workers, a woman in her early twenties, had attended an iHOPE Ministries workshop and became inspired and empowered to intentionally share Jesus with Muslims. Christmas was approaching, and she wondered how she might share her joy for the season with a Muslim neighbor.
One evening as Christmas drew near, as she was picking up her dry cleaning after work. It was then that she realized that her dry cleaner was Muslim! She’d been picking up her dry cleaning there for some time and had never paid attention. That night he asked her, “What are you doing for Christmas.”
This time, she didn’t just grab her dry cleaning and run. She replied, “On Christmas Eve, my family and I will go to church to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Then we’ll have a small gathering of family and friends over for reflection and a shared meal.”
He looked surprised and blurted out, “I thought Christians got drunk on Christmas!” She could tell he genuinely believed this was the case and realized what a valuable opportunity she had in that moment to introduce him to the true meaning behind Christmas and the way Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus.
This co-worker of mine saw the situation through new eyes. She recognized the opportunity before her and shared her heart—and by doing so, she planted Gospel seeds and likely made a big impact on her dry cleaner. As she discovered through her conversation, many Muslims who come to the United States are confused about Christian holidays. Some consider Santa Claus an idol. Many believe that all Americans are Christians and that they all engage in a party lifestyle leading them to believe that most Christians live immoral and sinful lives.
Easy Next Steps
- Look for opportunities to plant Gospel seeds with your Muslim neighbors. As my co-worker realized, when you intentionally engage with your Muslim neighbors about the topic of Christmas, you could begin an eye-opening and friendly conversation about Jesus, and the reason for the season. It can be as simple as sharing your Christmas plans or inviting them to join you for a Christmas service at your church.
- Pray! If you don’t have a Muslim in your current circle, pray that the Lord would change that in 2019. In the interim, pray for the iHOPE team and others actively engaging with Muslims in their neighborhoods.
Allow this Christmas to be one with an eternal impact for your Muslim neighbors by prayerfully sharing the genuine love God has placed in your heart for them.