International (MNN) — ‘Tis the season for Christmas lights, decorations and, of course, parties. All of these things help to brighten the season, but it could be even more vibrant if hosts and hostesses could express the real meaning of Christmas. This year, they can.
The JESUS Film Project has partnered with a program called "Christmas Gatherings." The idea behind the project? Have a Christmas party, but this time, share the Good News.
What does a typical "Christmas Gathering" look like? Within the first two weeks of December, a gathering host will invite neighbors or other groups into his or her home for a holiday party. Guests arrive, eat holiday foods, and share Christmas traditions. Sounds like a normal Christmas party for the most part, but here's the difference: at the end of the time, a prayerfully-chosen speaker (usually not the host) will tell the guests about Jesus' love, the "reason for the season." Later, guests are invited to participate in a Bible study beginning in January, usually led by the host.
The success of these parties has been phenomenal. Christmas Gatherings began with one woman who spoke at two gatherings in 1981, and discovered that over half of the participants had signed up to join a Bible study. Since then, the ministry has spread. Now over 1000 parties have been hosted, over 2,000 people have accepted Christ as a result, and over 3,500 have joined Bible studies.
Christmas Gatherings is backed by the Scripture: "We love you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but our lives as well." Especially during a season of love and joy surrounding the birth of a Savior, there could be no better time to let that joy overflow to friends who have yet to experience it.
2010 could be your year to use the Christmas season as a way to truly celebrate Christ by sharing His love. If you are interested in hosting a party and subsequently hosting a Bible study, visit christmasgatherings.com for resources, ideas and support.
You may be unable to host a Christmas party, but JESUS Film Project asks for your prayers. Pray for the many parties that will take place in which the Gospel message will be shared. Pray that as people recognize that there's something missing in their life, many would respond. Pray also for the Bible studies that will take place in January. Pray that the Holy Spirit would work through those leading the studies and stir the hearts of those who may be truly understanding the Gospel message for the first time.