Beyond the lights, carols and last-minute discounts, what should be front and center in this season of the year is the proclamation of the real Christmas story. No, I’m not talking about the one involving a Grinch and Whoville.
Yet more than one pastor has told me he sometimes struggles with preaching at Christmas. It’s not that they don’t love proclaiming the story of Christ’s birth; but sometimes after multiple years in the same pulpit, they fear they may not have anything fresh to bring to the preaching of the season. They don’t want to bore their people by preaching the same basic Christmas message every year (though it’s likely the congregation wouldn’t realize it if they used the same three points every year, so long as you change the illustrations).
Lest you find yourself in that situation and—in an ill-begotten attempt at creativity—make a tragic mistake taking the wrong approach, let me offer some possible sermon titles you should avoid this year:
• Scrooge—the Misunderstood Character at the Manger
• The Truth About Santa that Your Parents Won’t Tell You
• A Careful Analysis of the Likely Actual Year of the Nativity
• Three Wise Men and a Baby
• Yes, Virginia, There Is a Sermon
• Gift Is Not a Four-Letter Word
Maybe it’s best to tell the story of the miracle of the manger. May you preach the wonderful message of the Incarnation this Christmas. Then, on to Easter!
Michael Duduit is executive editor of Preaching and dean of the Clamp Divinity School at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. He wishes you a blessed Christmas and a wonderful 2015.