Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Mission Gifts

I wrote the following article for our e-message newsletter:

I love Christmas. I mean, I really love Christmas. I love the season and the decorations. I love the classic Christmas movies and short stories. I love the Christmas cookies and candies. I love the fellowship with friends and family. I love the music and worship services during Advent. Most of all I love the story of Christmas. Christmas is a love story. It is the greatest of all love stories. It is the story of a loving and long-suffering God who never gives up on his creation. The scripture says at just the right time he sent his son to redeem them. The story makes it clear that God never gives up on his mission.

Christmas is a great time for us to promote World Missions. Missions allows us to join in sharing the Good News with people around the World. It is the Good News first announced to shepherds by the angels. Our World Missions Offering goes to support the work of the Baptist World Alliance. The Baptist World Alliance is a fellowship of 214 Baptist unions and conventions comprising a membership of 36 million baptized believers in a community of 105 million around the world. The BWA unites Baptists worldwide, leads in evangelism, responds to people in need and defends human rights. Neville Callam is the General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance.

Each year at this time Baptists across our state give to mission causes. We are committed to faithfully channeling those gifts as we are instructed by local congregations. Therefore we send gifts for World Missions to several mission organizations. If you are looking for a place for your mission gifts we invite you to channel them through our convention.

I was visiting with a pastor recently who shared that one Baptist laymen in his church suggested they use “plan C.” He said what is “plan C?” The man said the Missouri Baptist Convention has provided plan A and plan B depending on your desire to support the litigation against our institutions. He said I recommend we use “plan C” and send our mission gifts to the Baptist General Convention of Missouri where we can be confident none of it will go to fund litigation.

I liked his idea. Mission dollars should not be spent on litigation. They should be used to share the greatest love story of all time. They should be used to introduce men, women, boys and girls to our Savior. What better way to celebrate Christmas than to give to missions. We invite you to help us share the message of Christ around the world. I hope you will include World Mission causes on your Christmas gift list.

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