I realize that some feel uncomfortable with the idea of delivering a message this time of year which touches on the connection between the Gospel and Christmas. Perhaps they are shocked at the emphasis on spending money and buying things, maybe it’s the pagan roots of several holiday customs, or even the acknowledgement that there is actually no emphasis in the New Testament on commemorating the birth of Jesus, only His death and resurrection. I get it. I agree. But I still deliver holiday influenced sermons most years… whether Christmas, Easter, Independence Day or Thanksgiving!
Why? Let’s think primarily about Christmas for now:
- First, the coming into the world of our Savior is a great part of the Bible story. It’s my chance to remind my audience of what really happened and why it is important.
- Second, while lessons of this sort can be presented any time of the year, this season is when many non-church goers and even non-believers in the Bible are more in tune with the thought of Jesus’ coming and what He was/is all about.
- Next, the fact is, most preachers seem to seldom if ever preach about the first few chapters of Matthew or Luke at any other time.
- Finally (though there are more reasons than these), messages at this time of year really ought to go much deeper than just recounting the historical details of the event. Consider just a few of the many different topics and perspectives that our hearers need to know more about:
- Old Testament prophecies and expectations of this time
- The concept and significance of the incarnation – God choosing to become a man – Immanuel
- Why it was necessary for Christ to come
- How many are unprepared or unwilling to receive Him
- “God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son”
- The many human interest aspects of the story – Mary, Joseph, Zachariah and Elizabeth, the Wise Men, the shepherds, Simeon and Anna in the Temple, and more.
- God’s perfect planning, timing and execution in carrying out His secret plan (“mystery”)
- And many more…
For whatever benefit it might be to others, here are two different messages I delivered during the Christmas season. May they be a blessing to you.
- “Wise Men Still Seek Him” – (December 23, 2012) borrowing a popular phrase on Christmas cards and posters, we know not just “wise men” sought Him, but simple shepherds as well.
- “Experiencing the Christmas Story” – (December 24, 2017) connecting together the lives of the four people at the center of the Christmas story.
Our image of the Wise Men comes from the www.freebibleimages.org website.