My Christmas Wish List
by Tom Atema
Its that time of the year when we share our Christmas wish list with family and friends. To be honest, at this stage of my life I have all I need, and really all I want. However, there are still two items on my wish list.
My #1 Christmas wish is that we (Christians) would stop being apathetic. What do I mean? Apathy is simply a lack of interest, lack of enthusiasm, a lack of concern. We are all guilty of this in one way or another. Apathy takes place when people are wavering in their commitment to a goal; it decreases their motivation to pursue the task. The result of our lack of motivation is because we are unsure of our commitment to a goal or even if it is worth pursuing.
As Christians our goal should be clear (Jesus himself said it best). Go – Make Disciples in your nation and around the world. He even tells us how to do it! So why are so many apathetic when it comes to doing it? Especially for specific people groups who really have never even heard the name of Jesus.
If I say the word ‘Muslim’ what comes to mind? What about ‘Syrian Muslim’? Muslim children are not disqualified from God’s love, compassion, saving grace, or His forgiveness because they are Muslim or were born in Syria. They are rather a key resource for Him to use in a dark and troubled part of the world. And yet, so many ignore the call to reach and disciple them.
Personally I think apathy is worse than disobedience. Our hearts have grown cold and therefore we are not interested – period, end of discussion. Our mind tells us someone else will handle the problem, I have no idea what to do so I’ll do nothing! Nothing will ever change anyway!
My #1 wish this Christmas is that all followers of Jesus Christ will move away from being apathetic and move towards being engaged with the largest unreached people group in the world. Even if its uncomfortable.
My #2 wish this Christmas is that Christians would not be in such a hurry for the Syrian refugees living in Lebanon to go home. Oh, make no mistake I am working daily on the fact that they will go home! But not until they have all had the opportunity to hear about the love of Jesus Christ, have had the opportunity to come to faith in Jesus Christ, and have had a period of time to be discipled and grounded in their faith.
When the refugees do go back to Syria from Lebanon, the chances of them hearing about Jesus as their Savior diminishes greatly. If they are not well rooted in the Faith, the fruit will not last. Syria can look much different than it does today because of what Jesus can and is doing in the lives of Syrian refugees. Because of the MBB (Muslim-born Believers) that have already become disciples, when these wonderful people return to Syria they will live a life so irresistible that they will attract others to Jesus. They will help rebuild Syria with the Him at the center.