I first posted this idea last year, but it’s a good challenge for our students (and for us) this time of year.
I realize there are plenty of “big,” radical ways we can encourage students to let Christ reign during Christmas. But what about this idea:
Have you challenged your students to let Christ “impose” even on the gift portion of their Christmases?
Assuming most of your students aren’t foregoing gift-receiving altogether, challenging them to look through spiritual eyes at what they ask for is great spiritual practice. They’ve got two big chances to put Jesus square in the middle of the gifting:
- What they put on their Christmas wish lists
- How they spend their Christmas money
How many of your students are likely to ask for / use their Christmas money for a Christian book that would be well worth reading? What about a new Study Bible or Bible Commentary? What about a video game they know will specifically help develop relationships with their dorm-mates? Or a DVD they know will help inspire them spiritually (whether it’s a Christian movie or not)? Will they buy iPhone apps that help them be better students? Will they ask their parents for Wal-mart gift cards to keep from spending so much on fast food?
More importantly, will they at any point pray for God’s wisdom in what they ask for? And will they pray for God’s wisdom in how they spend any cash they receive?
In other words, are we raising up students who “in all their ways acknowledge Him”? Will their Christmas lists reflect the Jesus inside them?
My list of examples surely don’t cover all the possibilities of Jesus-directed gifting. The great thing is, a little prayer and a little thought can help students realize how they can purposely grow, serve, and live best in the New Year. And while – again – I recognize it may seem holier to focus on “Christian service” or “Christian witnessing” during the Christmas season, Jesus probably wants to be Lord even of our wish-lists. And if our students practice that lordship here, who knows where they might let Him impose next?