“…And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Over the course of human history, nearly everything has already been written about extensively. Christmas is a prime example. Every year pastors across the country have the task to create another Christmas sermon. But after many years of preaching the same message, you can get repetitive. The message every year should remain the same, but you need a bit of a creative twist on the way you present it every year to keep the message fresh. It is not an easy task. What can be said that hasn’t already been said? How do we find new angles and approaches to engage people with the Christmas narrative?
Pastor’s may be worrying unnecessarily. Since Christians began celebrating Christ’s birth, preachers have given a Christmas sermon. For nearly 2,000 years, the story has remained the same, yet it continues to spark the imaginations of Christians and non-Christians around the world: the creator became a creature, the mighty became weak. And through the Incarnation, God redeemed the world. The story has brought Christians, since the first Christmas, to wonder and awe at the miracle. There is so much more to say. There is no chance that we will ever run out of something to say about Christmas. C.S. Lewis once said, ”Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.”
Every passage of the Bible is telling us something about Christmas. The Old Testament tells us about the promise that the Savior would come to this earth, the four Gospels tell us about how that promise was kept in the person of Jesus Christ, and the whole rest of the New Testament tells us about the results of His coming. The message of Christmas is summarized in John 3:16-17: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
While it is hard to say something new about Christmas, it is not as difficult to do something we may not do every Christmas: to pause and reflect and to remember the reason for the season. This Christmas pause to reflect: What’s taken a hold of you? Most likely, it’s the things you behold. Take time each day to stop the holiday preparation frenzy and prepare your heart to celebrate Jesus. Worship Him. Bask in His grace. Rest in His presence. And share with others the things you discover about Him.
- What is the reality of Christmas for you?
- Take a moment to reflect: How can you behold Jesus this Christmas season? Ask the Holy Spirit to captivate your heart with His presence.