The Best Christmas Gift of All
So what’s in an invitation? Well, according to most people, everything. Think about it. When someone invites you to something, it essentially means they want you with them. Now, I am not talking about those obligatory invitations that occur with events like weddings and the like- “If we don’t invite so and so, we’ll never hear the end of it…” But barring that, when someone gets invited somewhere, it’s a wonderful thing. Double that when the invitation is to come to church.
I read from blogger, Angela Jamene, “Every invitation to church is an ‘I love you and I want this indescribable love, peace, and joy for you because I genuinely care about you.’ When a friend or a kindly stranger, a relative or a playgroup parent, says ‘Hey, why don’t you come to church with me on Sunday?’ what they mean is ‘I love you so much, I cannot describe what I know you can get from this because I can’t even put into words what it has done for me.’”
I believe that is true. So then, why do so relatively few church attenders invite others? Especially since the “rate of return” is so great. In fact, in December 2008, LifeWay Research conducted a survey and found that 63 percent said they would respond favorably to an invitation from a friend or neighbor. (Ed Stetzer, LifeWay Research, 2014.)
Think about that kind of return in other aspects of life. How about the markets? We’d all be like Warren Buffet if that was the case. Or how about sports? What ballplayer wouldn’t be a lock for the Hall of Fame with those kinds of returns?
So, an invitation to church yields a great response; an invitation for Christmas services even more so. Another study conducted by LifeWay Research found that 91 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas, including a majority of atheists, individuals claiming other religions, and agnostics or those with no religious preference. This includes attending some kind of church service. (lifeway.com.)
Hey, it’s not too late. Someone you know just may be waiting for that invitation to church this Christmas! It’s an opportunity for your relative, friend, co-worker or neighbor to hear the gospel… the real reason why we celebrate Christmas!
Matt 1:21- “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
When you invite people to church, you are sharing the love of Christ with them, like someone had previously done for you.
Can you think of any Christmas gift more loving or valuable than that?
-Pastor Joe Garofalo