Most offices have Christmas traditions. As a follower of Jesus, please don’t be one of those “Christians” who doesn’t participate just because you think they celebrate it wrong or do too many indulgent things or only want to say “Happy Holidays” or some other lame, judgmental excuse. Unless they only serve fruitcake. Then and only then is it okay to avoid the office Christmas festivities. But if there’s fruitcake AND at least one more thing, even if it’s just Egg Nog, participate.
Because you have to be present to demonstrate Emmanuel.
Now, you don’t have to be annoyingly present. Like, don’t go around with a cheap, “Leave Christ in Christmas” T-Shirt pulled sloppily over your dress shirt. Don’t only make small talk – “You got all your shopping done? You in town or out of town for Christmas? Do your kids still believe in Santa?” And don’t just make an appearance, doing a quick in and out while giving a candy cane and wishing a non-enthusiastic “Merry Christmas.”
I don’t think Jesus went to Christmas parties like that.
Wait…Jesus didn’t go to Christmas parties.
But, I don’t think He wants us to go to them like that. It kind of defeats the whole purpose of why He became Emmanuel. It kind of goes against the whole message of “God with us.”
What if we did more than just wished our co-workers “Merry Christmas?”
What if we prayed a very simple prayer:
Lord, I am grateful for the people I get to work with everyday (ok – if you can’t pray that sincerely then hit pause and repent and ask the Lord to help you be grateful for and loving toward those with whom you work). This Christmas and New Year season, please give me wisdom with a very specific way or gift that allows me to love and serve them for Christmas, AND please give me wisdom with a very specific way to encourage them as they exit 2011 into the New Year.
PLEASE, if you are willing, come back after the New Year and leave a story or two here. I ask that because I want to make a very specific guarantee – JESUS WILL ALWAYS GRANT YOU WISDOM WHEN YOU ASK FOR IT and HE WILL ALWAYS GIVE YOU INSIGHT ON HOW TO LOVE PEOPLE.
Try it! I bet you will experience His presence in a new or renewed way, AND I bet those with whom you work will experience Emmanuel’s presence, as well.
Even if you wear a really hideous Christmas sweater. A Christmas cardigan would be even better :)