Why? . . . . . . (I’m giving you a few seconds to think why this may be)
1) Because the scriptures are used every year. Everyone in the congregation has heard them and has their own idea what they mean. With Christmas, the story has been read to us since we were very young. We’ve been in and watched pageant. We’ve sung the caroles and hymns and presented the special music, a cantata here and there. What NEW can a preacher say that isn’t said better by a bunch of cute children dressed as angels and animals?
2) The message of Christmas is JOY! How many ways can one say that? Joy is an emotion we all understand. Joy is a fairly straightforward feeling that doesn’t have to be explained. “I’m worried” can be explained various ways as can, “I’m afraid.” But, “I’m happy”? We all know what that means so a Christmas sermon about joy can be boring or repetitious–try to imagine yourself preaching twenty minutes on joy.
3) There is little suspense. At other times of the year, a minister may preach on a section from Judges or a minor prophet or one of the pastoral epistles and we’re surprised. We didn’t know that was in the Bible. But we could all recite the part about angle appearing to Mary, about Joseph taking his betrothed to Bethlehem, and the innkeeper and the shepherds and the birth. We know all that.
And yet, every year there is a newness to the words we have read so often. We experience the amazing discovery that we are so greatly loved the Creator of the Universe is sending a Savior to me! Oh, to you, too. of course, to all of us. This is both a very personal and a completely universal blessing. Every Christmas the enormity and grandness of that love astounds me. The words may be old but the miracle is new every year, that unto us in the city of David has been born to us a Savior who is Christ the Lord.
How can we take such love in all at once? That’s why that message must be preacher over and over so we can understand it a bit more every year, live it more sincerely every day.