Christmas time is upon us! During this time of year, people share countless Christmas stories with their loved ones. There’s the story about a jolly man in a red suit, the one about a snowman in a magical black top, and the one about a red-nosed reindeer. Many of us watch the story about a child who somehow knows how to defend his home better than any SWAT team ever could and the story of a furry, green mountain-dweller who steals an entire town’s Christmas.
Even though many of those stories are fun, they do not share the true story of Christmas. As followers of Jesus, we are aware of the true, life-altering, history-changing Christmas story. It's about a Baby born in humble circumstances whose birth was foretold and forever changed history.
Yet sadly, despite the truthfulness and impact of our Christmas story, many people around us have never heard it. I mean, how could they, unless someone who knows the story tells them?
I have an idea: Maybe we could tell them! The Christmas story has changed our lives, and it has the power to change theirs as well.
But where do we start? Let’s explore some potential conversation starters that may even lead to deeper discussions about Jesus. Perhaps the people we talk to will even get to experience the joy of knowing the Savior for the first time!
Conversation starter: The need for peace in our world
It seems we’re constantly bombarded with bad news of war and conflict. And while the news may be awful, most people in our lives are willing to talk about it. As believers, we can use the lack of peace in our world to point people to Jesus, the Prince of Peace who bestows His peace upon all who trust in Him (John 14:27).
Perhaps we can start with the first bad news ever reported. We could share how the moment the first man and woman sinned, their lives were changed from being free from shame and separation (Gen. 2:25), to hiding from one another and the Lord in fear (Gen. 3:7-10). We can share how things went from bad to worse, as the man blamed both God and his wife, and how the woman followed her husband’s example and blamed the serpent (Gen. 3:11-13).
Then we can share God’s plan and promise to fix that bad news through a Son who would be born to the woman, a Son who would destroy the serpent (the Devil and his work, Rev. 12:9) through receiving a death wound from the serpent (Gen. 3:15).
Maybe then we could move into the Gospel — the good news — and share how Jesus is that promised Son, the One who would bless all nations, (Matt. 1:1). We can share how Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, whose name means “the Lord’s Salvation” (Matt. 1:21). We can share how angels praised God for Jesus’ birth, declaring that His birth brings forth shalom — God's peace, wholeness, and wellness — to a world that so desperately needs peace (Luke 2:14).
Conversation starter: Christmas decorations
We can use the decorations around us to point others toward Jesus if we so choose. But which ones?
Perhaps we can point to the Christmas or Hanukkah lights to show that illuminating the darkness is a theme on display this time of year. We can then shift the conversation to Jesus, the Light of the World who came into darkness. He invites us to enter His marvelous light and experience new life by trusting in Him (John 1:1-5, 14; 3:19-21).
We can share Jesus’ words during Sukkot (the Festival of Tabernacles); when the large lamps were lit in the Temple, Jesus declared Himself to be the Light of the World and promised that all who follow Him will experience the light of life (John 8:12). Remember, Jesus told His followers to become lights in the world and shine for His glory and the good of others (Matt. 5:14-16).
Pointing to the star that typically sits atop Christmas trees, we can share Balaam’s prophecy about a Star rising out of Jacob and ruling the nations (Num. 24:17-19). We could also tell of the Magi who traveled from the East because of that prophecy. They saw an extraordinary star that appeared at the time of Jesus’ birth, and about two years later they followed it to where He was, ready to meet the One born as King of the Jews (Matt. 2:1-2, 7, 16).
When looking at Christmas gifts beneath a tree, we may be prompted to share one of the most famous verses in the Bible, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” We might also share how the Magi brought gifts that identified Jesus as King, Lord, and sacrifice (Matt 2:11). We can even share prophecies about the kings of nations coming to worship Jesus and to give tribute, just as these wise men did — and just as wise people still do today (Ps. 72:10-11; Isa. 60:1, 6).
Conversation starter: Christmas songs and movies
There are traditional Christmas songs or movies that can acquaint others with Jesus as the reason for this season.
For example, we can open a hymnal or search on YouTube for classic Christmas hymns like “Silent Night,” “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman,” or “Joy to the World” to point people we know to Jesus. Share the words of these songs with the people in your life and talk about what is being expressed. We may be surprised at how many people have sung these songs without giving thought to what they communicate about our Lord.
Consider intentionally watching a Christmas movie that speaks of Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas. Charlie Brown’s Christmas special is an excellent example. Who doesn’t like Charlie Brown? In the movie, Linus shares the true Christmas story as he quotes Luke 2:8-14 in its entirety. We can ask the Lord to give us wisdom to talk about what Linus just said — God will do it! (see James 1:5). Who knows, we may just experience God at work through the Peanuts gang!
Let’s look for opportunities to tell the people we know about the true, life-altering, history-changing story of Jesus’ birth. As we do, let’s ask God to use us to draw people to His Son. I have a strong suspicion that our Heavenly Father would love to answer that prayer!
Christopher (Chris) Montgomery is a Chaplain at Christian Care Ministry and the Pastor of a congregation in Colorado Springs, CO. He and his wife have been blessed with four children and two grandsons. Chris has a passion for the word of God and rejoices over opportunities to share the Lord and His glorious word with all whom he encounters.