We are traditionally underwhelmed in America with the Christmas story and overwhelmed with distractions. The rise of endless events, the familiarity with the biblical accounts, and the innumerable Hallmark movies can add fuel to our A.D.D. culture. We keep looking for a new twist, an angle, or story that may provide some nostalgia moment or a feel-good afternoon.
The church is no different.
Year after year we find ourselves dealing with the same text and wondering what we will say about them this year. What more, or worse, what new can we add to the topic of Christmas.
For many, preachers have laid down their holiday sermons for continuing through whatever series they are in, and others try to take too much time to cover this yearly theme. In both cases, and in between, we see the necessity to deal with this season.
What we need is far from a plan or program, rather the ambition and boldness, not for novelty, but for clarity. Oh that we would have the eyes to see and still wonder a little at a star, unexpected grace, and unplanned visitations, and how we might be again captured by God who visits the lowly by Himself becoming low that we might know Him.
And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
(Guest blog post by Stephen Caldwell, Adirondack Bible Chapel, Piseco, NY)