Last year, we asked the question, “Can Christmas be celebrated in my workplace?” However, when it comes to Christmas in our workplaces, our responsibility as believers goes far beyond the way we celebrate. It also extends to all the little things we do: the conversations, the interactions with coworkers, client meetings, and so much more.
Traditionally, the Christmas season revolves around joy. Whether it says it on a mug or you see it in the eyes of a child on Christmas morning, joy characterizes much of what Christmas is meant to represent. For many, it’s simply the joy of spending time with people they love, getting a gift they’ve wanted, or perhaps just seeing a neighborhood lit up with lights. These are all some of the small pleasures of life, but as followers of Jesus, it’s important to recognize where true joy comes from and what it looks like to put that on display.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” - John 1:1-5, 14
Christmas is all about celebrating what Christ came to do for us. Throughout all of the Old Testament and the New, Christ was present and working through his people, awaiting his time to come and shine light in a world filled with darkness. This light would carry an insurmountable joy for those who would believe. A promise of salvation through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This is the foundation of the joy we carry into Christmas. We live in the “already not yet” moment in time where our Savior has come and gone, and we await his return. It is always vital to keep this fact front of mind when celebrating Christmas in our workplace. The most meaningful thing we can do for the people around us is to be representatives of the love Christ showed when he was born so many years ago.
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?...” - 2 Corinthians 13:5
It can be easy to think about Jesus’s coming as a “past” joy. We don’t always consider the fact that the fullness of joy present on that day in the manger is the same fullness of joy we should feel today. Why? Because Christ is still working in us right now!
This is the “Christmas spirit” we should be bringing into our workplaces. Not a hollow festivity completely unaffected by the reality of what the holiday represents, but a wholehearted celebration of the joy that Jesus’s coming brings into our lives.
When someone says, “What’s your favorite holiday tradition?” while you wait for the coffee to finish brewing in the breakroom, instead of saying, “Putting ornaments on the tree,” what if you said, “Reading the story of Jesus’s coming on Christmas morning.” This may seem like a pretty meaningless difference, but it could make a significant impact on that person in a way you would never expect. All because you shared the joy you find in reading the story of your Savior.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” - John 14:18-21
One of the most beautiful truths we have to share during the Christmas season is that Christ not only came in the past, and offers us salvation in the present. He also shows us that there will be future glory beyond our wildest imaginations. There will be days of joy unending when Christ returns, and all is made right. He will be working through us in the meantime to prepare our hearts as we live our lives as witnesses for him, be that at home or in the workplace.
That future glory is also a large part of what Christmas is about; that our Savior didn’t just come once. He’s coming again. That is the joyful message we are proclaiming this Christmas season. The hope that Christ brings and his promise to be near as we keep His commandments and live for him.
It is perfectly okay to enjoy the small things this Christmas season, like the gifts and decorations, but what is dangerous is to forget the reason we celebrate in the first place. You may have coworkers or employees who have either never heard the story of Jesus or have simply chosen to write it off. Whatever the case may be, Christ is calling you to be a billboard of his story this Christmas season. Let people see the difference in the joy you have when you walk into work each morning. It will not go unnoticed.
“Don’t withhold good from someone who deserves it when it is in your power to do so.”
“Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others.”