For many of us, Christmas is a traditional holiday that centers around family gatherings, gifts, and meals. We may fight to keep Jesus central to our celebrations as we break out the Bible, read the Christmas story together, and discuss its significance for our lives. I have seen some families do that very well over the years and have sought to instill some practices in our own family to keep the main thing the main thing during this holiday season. But I often still feel like something is missing…
This Christmas, as we wake up and begin our celebration, I want to challenge us to see an aspect of this magnificent holiday that we may be tempted to forget or overlook entirely. Let’s look together at what the angels announced to the shepherds:
Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy… Luke 2:10
Wow! Good news and great joy. We love that and I hear it quoted often this time of year. However, the end of that sentence is important too:
…that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10b
This Christmas, I challenge you to take a few minutes to pray for the many peoples around the world who don’t know the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we wake on Christmas morning, 42% of the world lives within a least-reached people group, meaning they have little or no access to the true Gospel. For them, this day is nothing out of the ordinary and certainly wouldn’t be filled with good news and great joy. In fact, as Carl F.H. Henry said, “The Gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.”
This Christmas, would you pray for these three things?
- Pray for people in your life who don’t yet know Jesus.
- Pray for men, women, and families to be raised up and sent out to the nations to spread the good news about Jesus Christ.
- Pray for God’s kingdom to advance among the 2.9 billion people living as part of a least-reached people groups.
This Christmas, let’s take time to remember that Jesus didn’t bring good news only for me and you, but for all the people!
Dustin Speaks is the Mission Mobilization Pastor. He and his wife, Lauren, arrived in Columbus in the fall of 2012, after several initial ministry experiences. Dustin previously served as an associate pastor in South Dakota and as a missionary to university students in Berlin, Germany. Dustin studied history at Ohio University, where he met Lauren, and was involved in campus ministry with Cru. After graduation, the Speaks went to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Chicago) to complete a degree in Intercultural Studies. He enjoys playing nearly all ball sports—basketball, golf, and soccer are his favorites. Dustin and Lauren have three young children.