“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”
Christmas as a volunteer missionary feels a little different. Maybe it’s hot, and you can’t even dream of a white Christmas. Maybe you’re busier and more exhausted than ever, pulling off Christmas parties and programs. Maybe it’s your first time away from home for the holidays, and your tiny fake tree isn’t helping much. Christmas and missions might seem worlds apart. Maybe fun and unique, maybe lonely, but either way, it’s not like a REAL Christmas.
But maybe as you’re serving in missions, you’re actually closer to the spirit of Christmas right now than you’ve ever been before. Let’s take a look at the old story one more time through the mission lens…
Maybe the most unlikely missionaries were the shepherds. Just another night in the fields was suddenly transformed into the greatest mission of their lives—to witness and bear witness of the birth of the promised Messiah.
Then there are the wisemen from the East. Foreigners, outsiders—on a mission. They searched for truth, and more truth was given. Jewish prophecies, the appearance of a strange star, and incredible faith led them on a journey many miles from home to find and worship this foretold King of Kings. Their mission was about worship, but included a stop in Jerusalem where they turned the Jewish leaders back to their own Scriptures to discover the Messiah born next door, whether they were ready to believe it or not.
What about the angels? I think they could count as missionaries. They were busy lighting up the Bethlehem hills with a heavenly musical, and proclaiming life-changing messages to everyone from Mary to the shepherds, Joseph to the wisemen.
Best of all was Jesus Himself, leaving His glorious heavenly home to visit our dark planet as a tiny, under-cover missionary wrapped in swaddling clothes. Jesus’s first message to the world was just showing up—vulnerably, hardly noticed, in a humble place, surrounded by humble people. Before He could heal or teach anyone or complete His earth-altering mission with His death and resurrection, we can hear Him loud and clear from a straw-filled manger:
“You are remembered by God. You are loved. You are worth it all.”
This Christmas, wherever you may be in the world, may you hear this message loud and clear. And may you be inspired to use every opportunity to join the shepherds, wisemen, angels, and even Jesus in telling the world that God loves them too.
This devotional was written by Andrea Keele, Volunteer and Communication Coordinator at Office of Volunteer Ministries.