Finding Hope and Sharing Goodwill
By Terry Cheek Th.D.
I find myself struggling to write this month. So much has happened and continues to develop. We with COVID-19, social tensions, violence from socialists and extremist agitators, unheard of assaults, distractions, and frustrations. How do I write about the spirit of Christmas? Where do you find the encouragement to read about Christmas? I find the strength to write, preach, teach, and even worship in HOPE through Jesus Christ. I pray you find HOPE in Him as well this Christmas season.
From Luke’s gospel in chapter two, we read about the birth of Christ. Before the incarnate birth, we read beginning with verse 8 the account of angels coming to the Shepherds. What a blessed event this was. The common man, tending their flock, then suddenly the sky opens and a glorious light shines around them. The heavenly conversation is amazing to read repeatedly. But, one word stands out in my mind as I write this article. The word eudokía, or translated in English as “goodwill.” There is no better time to spread goodwill than Christmas.
God spread goodwill to humanity with the birth of Christ, our messiah. Goodwill is understood to be a delight in the life of another or others. Over thousands of years, mankind had waited on their redeemer. Now, we read He has arrived, and with Him comes goodwill.
This year Christmas will more than likely be much different for most of us. Typically, the Church will share the goodwill of God’s word every day of our lives. With the Gospel, we have practiced the opportunity to meet, in some way the material needs of those around us. However, this year we may not have the opportunity to visit. If we look around, there remain families struggling, children having to suffer because of the bad decisions of adults. There are elderly living next door to us who only need a friendly visit. The nursing homes and hospitals are full of kind, loving and lonely folks wishing they could hear a Merry Christmas and have someone ask if they could pray with them. This year pray and think about ways to provide the Good Will of God’s grace to another person. Send cards and letters to the shut-ins. Continue to provide your Christmas outreach in the form of gift cards, gift certificates, nonperishable food items, and even toys by dropping them off at the door with a loving card or letter letting them know you or your church hasn’t forgotten them. Neighbor, we can think outside of the box this Christmas. You know it very well could be God’s desire that we continue to live through the issues I stated above to get the church out of our comfort zone and out into the highways and hedges with the Gospel in word and deed.
I’m not trying to guilt-trip anyone into anything. I realize Christmas is a busy time of the year. The shopping and cooking and gatherings are going to continue in some way shape form or fashion; can you find time to spread goodwill in someone’s life. If you really want to find HOPE in the worldly mess around us, try first giving of yourself and try spreading goodwill. Once you see that it really works you will want to find a way to do this every day throughout the year. Merry Christmas everyone and look for HOPE from goodwill!
Until we meet again in print or person may God bless you is my prayer!
Terry is the Executive Director and broadcaster of The Inspiring Word media ministry.
He provides pastoral services to McDowell Missions Ministries
You can read more good Christian news from Terry HERE.