rebelling against low expectations

Celebrate Christ’s Birth–But Don’t Forget His Death

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Christmas time is here again. Holiday shopping is in full swing, kitchens are filled with delicious smells as people make their favorite holiday treats, and Christmas carols are playing everywhere.

This is a beautiful time of year to spend with friends and family. For many of us, it is filled to the brim with parties and events. But as you hustle and bustle this Christmas, don’t forget why you are here.

You have a purpose and a commission on this earth. Don’t lose sight of that.

Missionaries Fighting For Peace On Earth

64 years ago, during the Christmas season of 1955, five Christian missionaries were working on a plan that would shake the world. Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming, and Ed McCully were making plans to make contact with the dreaded Auca people.

The missionaries feared that the entire Auca people were going to be wiped out. Not only was fighting and killing common within the tribe itself, but there was a constant cycle of violence between this Huaorani tribe and the Shell Oil company that wanted their land. Auca people would attack and kill oil company workers, and oil company workers would kill Auca people, and on and on the cycle of violence went.

Desperate to end the violence and introduce the Auca Indians to Jesus, the missionaries made plans to go into Huaorani territory and try to make friendly contact.

Knowing full well that no one had ever made friendly contact with this tribe and that the Auca people were likely to respond with violence, the missionaries chose to go anyway.

The Light Of Christmas Gives A New Vision

Why?

Why would they risk their lives on what many would deem a fool’s errand?

In a letter written less than a month before they made contact with the Auca’s and were killed by them Nate Saint wrote,

“As we have a high old time this Christmas, may we who know Christ hear the cry of the damned as they hurtle headlong into the Christless night without ever a chance. May we be moved with compassion as our Lord was. May we shed tears of repentance for these we have failed to bring out of darkness.”

Beyond the smiling scenes of Bethlehem, may we see the crushing agony of Golgotha. May God give us a new vision of His will concerning the lost and our responsibility…If God would grant us the vision, the word sacrifice would disappear from our lips and thoughts; we would hate the things that seem now so dear to us; our lives would suddenly be too short, we would despise time-robbing distractions and charge the enemy with all our energies in the name of Christ.” Nate Saint, December 1955

I am deeply challenged by the perspective of Nate Saint and his four friends. Their eyes were fixed on eternity. Their overwhelming passion was that people would come to know Jesus. They gave up their lives to share the gospel and stop the violence between the Auca people and the outside world. And God used their sacrifice to open doors for missionaries to reach the Auca people with the gospel, bringing an end to their violence.

Even amid the chaos of the Christmas season, these five men had a laser-sharp focus on Christ and the advancement of his kingdom.

Hear the True Call of Christmas

Christmas is a busy time of year. In all of our shopping, present wrapping, and cookie-baking, it is far too easy to lose sight of Jesus and the commission he gave us to proclaim the gospel and make disciples.

But as we enter the Christmas season this year, it is my prayer that we would fix our gaze upon Jesus and that we would not lose sight of our purpose on earth.

I echo the words of Nate Saint. As we hustle and bustle this Christmas, may we who know Jesus hear the cry of the lost as they hurtle headlong into an eternity without Christ. May we be moved with compassion as our Lord was. May we be driven to step out of our busyness, out of our selfishness, out of our comfort zones and reach out to a world lost and dying and in need of the only true hope—Jesus Christ.

As we hustle and bustle this Christmas, may we who know Jesus hear the cry of the lost as they hurtle headlong into an eternity without Christ. Click To Tweet
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About the author

Kaitlyn Donihue

Kaitlyn Donihue is a writer, musician, book-worm, and lover of Jesus. She is passionate about Him and desires that her life would point others to Him. One day she hopes to serve the Lord in ministry to troubled teens. Currently, she lives with her family in southern Michigan. You can find her blog at simplydevoted.org

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