Preaching at Christmas

What do you expect the person doing the inspiring preaching to say this week?  In the midst of a hectic, busy, frantic and often chaotic season, what should the preacher preach about?  Church Leaders often feel tremendous pressure in this time of the year.  The thinking goes something like this:

  • Visitors are more likely to visit your church at Christmas.
  • Every church is hoping to have more people deciding to join their church due to their visit at Christmas.
  • Pastor, you better be at your best because the shoppers/visitors are watching and deciding.

What do you think the Pastor should preach about this week in order to inspire the faithful, fire up the base and still appeal to the visitors who might not have anything close to the mind of Christ?

I am going to share with you my outline for my sermon on Sunday.  Please do not imagine I think I am the greatest preacher or this will be the greatest sermon.  My hope is that it will glorify God, magnify Jesus Christ and challenge the wills of people tempted by sin.

The text:

“And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”  [Luke 2:13-14]

The outline:

  • The Christmas Season is not often a peaceful time.
    • Plans must be made, gifts must be sent and families must be gathered.
    • Finances are stretched tightly to cover all of the above.
    • Children are suddenly home for seven more hours every day and so are Mom and Dad.  no one is used to this level of closeness.  Fights often ensue.
  • The Coming of Christ has not brought the visible peace we expected.
    • Wars still happen.  Abuses still happen.  Crimes still happen.  Tragedies still happen.
    • The path of the world is not towards peace but away from it.
  • What peace did come?
    • Look at the text: “…And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
    • There is peace available to us all.  It just doesn’t look like a fake “beauty contestant answer” peace.
    • Romans 5:1 says “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
    • The peace we can find is peace with God.  That is what the angels were proclaiming.  Peace among men with whom God is pleased.
  • What does this peace do for world peace?
    • This peace comes through the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and His resurrection.  By this we learn how costly our sins really are.  If we can appreciate this terrible cost properly then we could try harder to avoid committing more sins in the future.
    • This peace comes by grace and not by our efforts.  By this we learn how to forgive others.  How can we not be gracious towards others when God has been so gracious towards us?
    • This peace comes to some but not all.  People deliberately choose to live outside of God’s pleasure.  Their lives, lacking in goodness on a small scale and/or righteousness on a large scale, are not peaceful.  Unforgiven, they refuse to forgive.  Without grace they give only demands.
  • How can we respond?
    • Turn to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World, and be saved.  Accept the grace of God and put your faith in Christ to save you from your sins.
    • Ask for help from the Holy Spirit to live at peace with God through doing good works and with others through love.

There you have it.  My sermon outline for Sunday.  Perhaps it is not a “Christmas Sermon.”  My hope is that it glorifies the work of God in Christ.  My hope is that it clarifies our need for Jesus Christ.  My hope is that it inspires us to turn to God for help.

What else should I preach about at Christmas?

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