Domestic Mission congregation series: Vernon, British Columbia

Now the Work of Christmas Begins

It is the week after Christmas as I am writing this article. While the message of the angel is still ringing in our ears and giving joy to our heart, I am reminded of the song by Howard Thurman, “Now the work of Christmas begins.” It says, “When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when the shepherds are back with the flocks, then the work of Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal those broken in spirit, to feed the hungry, to release the oppressed, to rebuild the nations, to bring peace among all peoples, to make a little music with the heart… And to radiate the Light of Christ, every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say. Then the work of Christmas begins.”

Howard Thurman was a civil rights leader, so he was probably thinking of these words in connection with the work of promoting civil rights, but they certainly have a message for us if we think about the work of spreading the gospel. Jesus wasn’t born so that we could have a nice celebration once a year and then get back to our daily routine. He came to save all people from their sins. Now comes the work of Christmas. Jesus had the difficult work of redeeming us. We have been given the joyous work of proclaiming His salvation to the world. As you read this, we will be fully into the Epiphany Season. Epiphany is all about God revealing His Son to the world as the Savior of the world. God has chosen us to be a part of that work.

Here at St. Paul in Vernon, B.C., we are eager to get to work. We have a number of things in the works in our effort to get the message of salvation out to lost souls. We are trying something new in the area of advertising. We are printing business style cards with a picture and the name of the church on the front with a bible passage and our web address. On the back is our service and contact information. This is intended for members to give to people that inquire about what church they go to.

We are also printing inspirational photos about the size of a coaster. They have a scenic photo with a bible passage and our web address at the bottom. These will be left around in coffee shops and other places in hopes of drawing attention to our web site. We are also working to develop our web site to make it more welcoming, including a welcome video, and information about our salvation in Christ.

Our big focus right now is to prepare for a public presentation. We plan to hold a series of seminar type presentations at a public place with advertising inviting the public. The first in the series will be, “Is there Really a God? How can I know for sure?” It will be fol lowed up by further seminars on other questions l ike, “How can I be sure the Bible is God’s word?” These presentations will also be video taped and put on our web site and made available in DVD format for members to give to people who may be wondering about these questions. Please pray for us and for God’s bl essings on all our efforts as we continue the work of Christmas in central British Columbia.

– Pastor David Reim