When I was pastoring (Is that a word?) Christmas and Easter were both my favourite and least favourite times of the year. On top of the just plain busyness of the seasons, there was also the conundrum of finding fresh ways of preaching an old familiar message. It’s a real conundrum indeed.
But does it have to be one? Here we have a message that is an old one, but it is also a fresh, new one.
Let me try to ‘splain (as Ricky Ricardo would say — am I dating myself, or do I have some ‘splainin’ to do?). It is simply this: we should not try to change the truth of Christ’s incarnation, after all, fact is fact. He is the God-Man: He is He Who took on our form, was made in human flesh, yet remained very God of very God. He came into this world as a baby, was born in the normal way (except that His mother was a virgin), and was born without sin. He then lived a sinless life and died for us, taking our sin upon Himself. Because of His sacrifice, we now have unlimited access to the Father through our Intercessor and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We sometimes forget this wonderful truth in the midst of all of our busyness in preparing for Christmas Day. We want things to be just right, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Which brings me back to the second part of my question: how do we present an old, familiar message in a fresh way? Maybe we shouldn’t worry about it and let the Message speak for itself. Preachers ought to let God speak through them and let Him do the work of opening hearts and minds to the truth that He has for us in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And remember one more thing: without Good Friday and Easter Morning, Christmas has no significance at all. This is because the manger of Bethlehem stands in the shadow of the Cross. And what began in Bethlehem, ends and begins again in Jerusalem with His birth, then His death and resurrection from the dead. The day that He rose from the dead was the day that death died.
Finally, I hope that your Advent season so far has been a time of personal reflection and a drawing nearer to God. May you continue to be blessed by His presence in your life.