I’m in London for the day, and with my errands run I find myself with a couple of hours to kill.
It’s cold outside, so I pop into a Starbucks. The rush of warm air greets me, along with the smell of ground coffee and the certain hope of free wi-fi. I order the Christmas brûlée latte, but it’s sold out. (You have no idea how long it took me to find the characters to spell ‘brûlée’ by the way).
Regular latte it is then. And a caramel shortbread, because I have literally no self-restraint.
As I sit down for my caffeine kick, laptop successfully connected to wi-fi, I watch people come and go. Students, schoolkids, working women, men in suits, and a group of pensioners on the table to my left. Everyone’s got something to do, somewhere to be, or messages to catch up on. Some are trying to get everything done in time for Christmas, others just ticking the days off until the break begins.
As the Christmas music blares out, my mind wanders towards those places in the world where there’ll be no Christmas music, and no Christmas brûlée lattes. Cities where there’ll be no carol services, and whole countries that won’t recognise the birth of God’s Son; the Messiah; Emmanuel.
What must it be like to spend Christmas on the narrow backstreets of Malé in the Islamic Maldives, in the cities of Asia’s Communist nations, or in the Hindu villages of India? People in these places have never heard of the baby in the manger – the Son of God who lived among us, died on the cross and rose again to offer the hope of new life.
It’s so easy to forget places like this at Christmas. We enjoy the festivities, family, friends and food. We sing our carols and give our gifts. We might even invite our non-Christian friends along.
But what about the people in those places where Christmas simply doesn’t happen? Who will invite them? Who will tell them? As we rejoice in the birth of our Saviour, our hearts must also break for those who, 2000 years later, still haven’t heard this incredible news!
Does your heart break for the lost at Christmas? If so, why not make a commitment to join one of our short-term teams next summer? Applications are now open, and by joining a team you could help us ensure more people in unreached lands hear the wonderful news of the Christmas story – of Emmanuel, God with us.
Discover how you could serve in Asia this summer here