You are here: HomeViewpoint › Communicating The Christmas Message With Compassion

Communicating the Christmas message with compassion

Communicating the Christmas message with compassion

Communicating the Christmas message with compassion

11 December 2016

Photo:Shannon Henriksen

By Mark Campbell

A few years ago, I went with a Salvation Army officer friend to drop off Christmas presents and food hampers to various households. My friend had used a local radio station to promote a campaign called “dob in a friend”. Essentially, he asked people to “dob in” a person, or a family, who they thought would be doing it tough at Christmas.

My friend knew his community well and knew the campaign would be successful. We met all manner of people that day, as we made our way through his list. The thing that struck me most was the reaction of people when the two of us turned up at their door with gifts. They were completely unaware that they had been “dobbed in”, so to speak, due to their personal circumstances.

There was a glazier who had experienced a loss of income. A recent injury meant he was unable to work and operate his business, so there was no income for the family. There was another man, in his 60s, who was living on his own and suffering from bad health. And then there was the single mum with four children. When we turned up, the dad was having custody rights with the children on the front lawn.

People expressed all manner of reactions to our visit and our expression of Christian compassion. Many were simply speechless. They did not know what to say and some got quite emotional. One lady grabbed the bags we offered and headed inside without saying a word! Most people, however, tried to explain and justify their situation and suggested that there were other people worse off than them.

In the Bible, in John 1:11, we read, “He (Jesus) came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” These are the very same responses that Jesus experienced when he was born. Herod pursued Jesus because he deemed him a threat to his kingdom and leadership. Herod even wanted to do away with Jesus. The religious leaders of the day were against Jesus in all he said and did, but thank God there were also those who accepted him and recognised him as Lord and Saviour. It is no different from today. However, we could say it is more from indifference than a total unbelief.

Going back to my friend and I ... we tried to be Jesus that day and communicate the reason why we were there. Why? In 2 Corinthians 5:14, it says, “For Christ’s love compels us ...”

This Christmas we must do all we can to communicate the love of Christ to our community ... because Christ’s love compels us.

Colonel Mark Campbell is the Chief Secretary-in-Charge of the Australia Eastern Territory. 


No comments yet - be the first.

Leave a Comment

- Will not be published

Email me follow-up comments

Note: Your comment requires approval before being published.

Default avatarWould you like to add a personal image? Visit to get your own free gravatar, a globally-recognized avatar. Once setup, your personal image will be attached every time you comment.