As Christians, we know the importance of Christmas. It’s the time in which we celebrate the Word becoming flesh– Jesus’ coming to earth as a vulnerable baby. This is a joyful holiday where it is almost effortless to focus on celebrating with our church, family, and Christian friends. Yes, it is so easy to retreat into our Christian circles for the month of December! However, this is one of the best times of the year to share Jesus with our Muslim friends!
If your Muslim friend has grown up in the U.S. or lived here for more than a few years, odds are they celebrate Christmas! Even as Muslims, they often participate in gift-giving, decorating for the holidays, and even celebrating Jesus’ birth (after all, Muslims do think that Jesus is a prophet of Allah and was born of the virgin Mary).
This post we will focus on conversational tips for talking about Christmas with your Muslim friend. If you want to learn what Islam teaches about Jesus, Christmas, or Mary, start with these posts:
- Introducing your Muslim friend to the True Jesus
- Common ground for evangelism: The Christmas Story
- A Christian expert's look into the Islamic beliefs on the Virgin Mary
Having a conversation about Christmas with your Muslim friend
There are certain things that you can establish with your Muslim friend in a conversation about Christmas. The first thing is to make sure they understand Christmas is not simply a break from work or school for you. Tell them how important it is to you to celebrate Jesus.
Be honest about how you’re spending your holiday! If you plan to go to a Christmas Eve service at your church, tell them that and ask if they’d like to join you. If you’re excited to watch a movie of the Christmas story or listen to a family member read it from the Bible, tell them! This opens the door for more questions about what you believe, and there is a chance for you to be able to invite them into your Christmas if they seem interested or if you know they may be alone during this season.
What are you doing for Christmas?
Ask them questions about what they are doing for Christmas. We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again: listening is one of the most important things we can do when witnessing. Listening is a great way to show love to your Muslim friend because it tells them that you value them. Listening will also help you learn where they are spiritually so you are able to take them to the next level in their journey.
Do not be afraid to be direct with your Muslim friend as long as you are respectful and loving! Try saying, “I would love to meet for coffee and talk to you about Jesus since it’s Christmastime!” This is a transparent and straightforward way to start a conversation with your Muslim friend. If they aren’t interested, they’ll say no, and then it’s your job to respect that. You can still be a witness of Jesus by loving them well and living your life for Him in front of them.
It’s not Santa’s holiday
Your Muslim friend’s views on what Christmas means to you are probably derived from Christmas movies and what they see in the media. This means that there’s a strong chance that they think you are celebrating Christmas in the “commercialized” way, where everything is about Santa Claus, eating and drinking, and getting gifts.
Make sure that your Muslim friend knows that Christmas is important because you love celebrating Jesus’ birth and His becoming human to save us. You can do this by telling them directly, or by simply making a point to talk about the Christmas story more than any of the holiday activities.
Dear Lord, thank you for reconciling heaven and earth by sending your Son to be the Redeemer. Thank you for the opportunity to share this story with my Muslim friend! Please give the right words and actions so that they are filled with curiosity about You! Amen.