Monday, December 14, 2009

It's Christmas time, and time is running out

It’s hard for me to think about Christmas time without thinking of a Sketch I did as a teenager that seems imbedded in my mind. I played the Vicar and the particular line that has come back to haunt me is – “This year I’m going to preach a meaningful Christmas sermon, I will not have Darth Vader or Tinky Winky, La La or Po in the pulpit, nor will I ruin my sermon notes with one of those dolls that wets themselves! I will think through everything carefully beforehand, and preach on the relevance of the birth of Christ to the modern world. If only I had time!”

I have a narrator’s part in a production this year, but won’t be preaching and so I don’t even have to face the temptation of going to the file of old material after hours of trying to come up with something original. And so my thoughts are with you because I do know the agony of trying to get it just right each Christmas. Of tying to present the Christmas message in a new and relevant and fresh way.

How do you say anything new? Anything that will so impact your congregation in such a way that will stop them in their tracks and cause them to think WOW! I never thought of it like that! and will have such an effect on them that they live their lives in a whole new way as a result of hearing you.

But it’s about you or me, it’s about Jesus. The Christmas story about Jesus is just so amazing that we want people to see it that way too!

The trouble is it’s near enough impossible to say anything new. It’s all been said! How do you improve on 2,000 years of storytelling? It’s newness depends on its freshness, and it’s freshness depends on openness – an openness on our part to hear God speak.

My advice for what it’s worth – just tell the story - and invest the time you could spend in coming up with something new in prayer for that openness of spirit that will allow God’s Spirit to bring Jesus into lives in a fresh way!

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