Activated

REACHING AT OUT CHRISTMAS

- BY MARIA FONTAINE MARIA FONTAINE AND HER HUSBAND, PETER AMSTERDAM, ARE DIRECTORS OF THE FAMILY INTERNATIO­NAL, A CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY OF FAITH. ADAPTED FROM THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE. ■

WITH THE CHRISTMAS SEASON BEGINNING, we will likely be presented with numerous opportunit­ies to talk to people about how the babe in the manger is a gift that can have great significan­ce for them, right now, today. Because Christmas for many is little more than a secular, commercial­ized holiday, there is little to celebrate for the millions worldwide who grapple with poverty, injustice, chaos, fear, and suffering. But there is hope; there can be awe-inspiring life transforma­tion, which can bring strength and joy where there was none, and the will to keep going in hard times, when that will is almost gone.

As the world grows darker, the gift appears more valuable, and people who are looking for the Light will not be able to miss it. The Christian message of hope, that God’s power can keep us and that His love can overcome anything, becomes more appealing and relevant by the day, as events strip away people’s sense of security, worldly joys, and even daily necessitie­s in many cases.

This Christmas, let the message of hope ring in your heart and radiate from your life. At every opportunit­y, let it beam from your face. Let’s proclaim the message that Jesus is our hope!

Spread the message this Christmas that there is an answer for those seeking truth and meaning. Declare how God loved us so much that He took on a human body so that He could experience the life that we all face, unshielded from its hardships and upheavals. He didn’t choose the easy path through life. He wanted to fully experience the human existence: the immense difficulti­es as well as the joys.

Let’s show people the unvarnishe­d story of the Son of God, who faced incredible challenges and died a cruel death on the cross to save each one of us. Let’s give them hope in the midst of their troubles with the knowledge that God in the flesh, Jesus, experience­d the full force of man’s inhumanity to man. That’s why He can be right here, a close friend who truly understand­s the hardships and fears we face in life. He wants to stay by our side, sustaining and upholding us through everything.

This Christmas, through our example and words, let’s show that hope exists and that abundant life is possible, through Jesus.

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