During a time of year when we want to focus on joy, love, peace, and hope, world news seems to keep intruding with “unseasonable” stories of death and destruction.

But are these stories really inappropriate to the season?

The Troubled World of Christ’s Birth

If we look at the Biblical Christmas, we see Jesus born into turbulent times. Herod was a brutal ruler.

The Jews were under Roman rule. Jesus’ family soon had to flee to Egypt to avoid massacre.

All of this to say that Jesus is not a stranger to troubled times.

Christ Still Redeems

The same redeemer that God the Father sent to earth into those troubled times over 2000 years ago is still doing His redemptive work today. More than that, He calls us to join Him in it.

How Can We Participate in the Redemption Work of Christ?

So how do we do that? There are many options given your individual context, personality, and calling.

Here are a few options that we are exploring as individuals and as a ministry:

  • Last Sunday our congregation prayed for a young woman, originally from Syria, who is returning to Syria for 3 weeks to the Turkey-Syria border to work with orphans. A number of people have committed to continue to pray for her during these next 3 week as she shares the love of Jesus with refugees there.
  • A missionary family from our church has ministered for many years in Turkey and now also has opportunities to minister to Syrian refugees. They walk among a mixed group of people which sometimes includes ISIS members. Again, sharing the love of Jesus.
  • Find ways to provide prayer support, financial support, and encouragement to those who are sharing the love of Jesus in concrete ways in the Middle East.
  • Become informed. Whether concerning issues in the Middle East or here in the United States, look for books, blogs, videos, and speakers who go beyond emotional reactions to see the history and social dynamics that have led to conflicts.
  • Study your Bible! Learn about God’s intentions, strategies, and methods not only for us as individuals, but for the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Church

Brad continues to react to current events and share discernment and feedback from others in the email newsletter You can also read past articles online at discernwith.us.

Connecting With Our Messianic Jewish Brothers and Sisters

Another way we have gained perspective in the past couple of years is by connecting to the Messianic Jewish movement.

We are sending small team to Jerusalem to connect in prayer with those who live in the center of the action, then returning to build intercession teams back home.

Spend Time in Scripture-based Worship

Finally, spend time in worship. Psalm 22 begins, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” but ends with:

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!