As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. – John 17:18
“Christmas is a model for missions and missions are a reflection of Christmas.” – John Piper
The meaning of Christmas is the mission of God: a God who loves and cares so much, that He left Heaven to come and reach out to us with love and truth.
Christmas is a model for missions: God was so moved by love and the conviction that there is something better for us which we desperately need, that He left what was comfortable to Him and at great expense to Himself, came to us, to speak to us in our language, on our level. That is the model of Christian mission both locally and cross-culturally.
Christian mission is a reflection of Christmas: by going out in mission we are imitating our Father and our Lord. We are doing for others what He did for us, albeit obviously not on the same scale.
The purpose of Christmas is joy. God gave us His comfort, that we might have JOY. What a gift! What a sacrifice, and what love it is that motivates such a sacrifice for the sake of others – others who do not always (or perhaps often) reciprocate that love.
these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. – John 17:13
Not only is the purpose of Christmas joy, but the purpose of Christian mission is joy! Joy for those who come to know the love of God BUT ALSO: joy for those who participate in the mission.
We were made for mission, and we will only know true joy when we get on board with the one ultimate mission: the only mission which has significance beyond this life and even this world: the mission of God to bring salvation to the world. It is in this mission that we can be truly fulfilled and that is a fountain of joy.