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7 Christmas sermon ideas

Mark Driscoll » God Biblical Theology Scripture Biblical People Church Preaching

Got a preaching and teaching question for Pastor Mark Driscoll? Check out previous topics in this series, and send your questions to preachteach@marshill.com.

Pastor Mark,

We get a lot of visitors at our annual Christmas Eve service. Do you have any advice on how to preach to a room of people who only go to church once or twice a year?

—Geoff


Dear Geoff,

For many churches, Christmas is a great opportunity to present the gospel to a lot of new people, and I encourage you to take full advantage.

At the same time, having preached the Christmas story nearly every year for about 16 years now, I know it can be difficult to keep the content new and fresh when you’re teaching some of the most familiar stories in the Bible. Here are a few different approaches you could take:

 

1. Compare and contrast

Take a look at the beginning of Matthew, Luke, and John. Each offers a unique account of the incarnation of Jesus.

 

2. Play the songs

Focus on the songs (from Mary and the angels) and prophecies (from Zechariah and Simeon) in the first few chapters of Luke.

 

3. Honor the women

Mary and Elizabeth are both central characters in the story of Jesus’ birth, and some of the most godly examples in Scripture.

 

4. Read the phonebook

Both Matthew and Luke include genealogies of Jesus, which makes for an interesting study on what a list of names can teach us.

 

5. Open the Old Testament

For thousands of years leading up to Jesus’ birth, God made numerous promises that are ultimately fulfilled in Jesus. Christmas is a great opportunity to celebrate his faithfulness and the truthfulness of his Word.

 

6. Spotlight the characters

The birth narratives of Jesus are filled with an interesting cast of characters: Mary, Joseph, the wise men, Herod, Zechariah, Elizabeth, etc. Each responds to Jesus in a different way, which is a great way to contextualize the message for listeners today.

 

7. Learn from others

Christmas sermons and writings from other great Bible teachers can also provide new insights and ideas. I’ve included a few links at the end of this post.

 

Whatever you preach, remember that Christmas is about Jesus, and the story continues beyond the manger. This may seem obvious, but it cannot be overstated. Eternal God entered into mortal history. Creator God joined his creation. God who made man became a man, lived a perfect life, died in our place for our sin, rose from the grave to conquer death, and remains with his people today.

Like Christmas, Christianity is a gift exchange: we give Jesus our sin, and he gives us new life. No matter how many times we repeat that message, it never gets old.

More Resources

Here are a few more resources that may be helpful as you prepare a Christmas sermon:

Sermons

Martin Luther:

Charles Spurgeon:

John Piper:

Tim Keller:

Matt Chandler:

Books

 


 

Got a preaching and teaching question you’d like to see Pastor Mark address in future weeks? Send your questions to preachteach@marshill.com. See all the past topics here.


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