Because I am blessed to serve as our District’s Mission Executive, I get to spend a lot of Sundays every month traveling around (usually with my wife, Lori) and visiting the new ministries and church plants that are up and running in Minnesota South. As a result, I get to see and hear and experience some pretty awesome things! The picture above is an example of that.
We are known as a teaching church, and rightly so. We understand and value the place that right teaching plays in the life of our congregations. But it was while I was serving at Concordia Seminary (a place where right teaching is held in high esteem) that my seminary colleagues and I came to realize and accept the fact that as valuable and important as teaching is, learning is even more important and more valuable.
We learned that as critical as it is to pay attention to, and keep track of what is being taught, it’s even more critical to pay attention and keep track of what is being learned. Because while teaching has the potential to change hearts and lives, learning has even more!
So, for example, we can, should, and do teach about the miracle of Christmas—the miracle of the incarnation—the miracle of the Word made flesh coming down from heaven for us and for our salvation. We should always teach that!
But what can we do to ensure that people hear it, and see it, and learn it? Again, the picture above provides a clue. The children you see there are participating in the life of the Christmas story and are learning that story in ways that will stick with them and their parents (and everyone else in the room, for that matter) for a long, long time. We watch those kids act out a very familiar story and they help us to hear it new, and see it fresh, and receive it, once again, with joy—as a Gift to us from heaven above.
Likewise, there are ways and opportunities for all of us to be involved in telling, sharing, and showing the Good News about Jesus. Every day, God puts people in our path for this very purpose. The more our words and deeds demonstrate and “act out” His love for all people, the more people there will be who actually learn of Him, hear Him, and receive Him.
So this Christmas please look for ways to “act out” your faith. In so doing, you will show people that you have a Lord and Savior who first loved you, and you will give them reason to learn more about Him.