Preaching Articles

Well, here we are again.  Another Christmas.  Another challenge to figure out how to preach the Christmas story in a fresh way.  The truth is, some years the Christmas season and Christmas services can feel more drudgery than delight.  It is possible to feel disconnected spiritually and the whole Christmas season just seem like a grind.  It’s possible to be a pastor and feel like the Grinch, Scrooge, Walter Hobbs and Old Mr. Potter all wrapped up into one.  If you don’t know who those people are, you need to watch more Christmas movies.

When you are in ministry, the Christmas season is different for you and your family.  Rather than it being a “down time” it is “game time.”  The pace doesn’t slow down, the pace picks up.  Rather than coming an sitting with your family to enjoy the Christmas Eve service, you are the one putting on the Christmas service.

Honestly, there have been some moments when I wished we could have a normal Christmas like other families.  The key word is the word “normal.”  I have come to realize that I have to redefine normal for myself and our family.  It is true that the Christmas season might feel more intense and more work than it does for some families.  The truth is, it comes with the territory of being a pastor of a local church during the Christmas season.

It makes me think of an incident that takes place in the book of Numbers.  When the Lord divided Canaan among the tribes of Israel, the Levites received no share of the land.  God said to Aaron and the priests, “I am your share and your inheritance.”

While everyone else in the nation of Israel received an inheritance of property, those whose lives were dedicated to ministry received an inheritance of presence… God’s presence.  That didn’t mean that God’s presence wasn’t available to all Israelites, but in some way, those who served in ministry had a unique connection with God.  

It might have been easy for them to look at all the other tribes and resent that they didn’t have real estate as their inheritance.  Their “normal” wasn’t a piece of property like everyone else.  They needed a different perspective and a different definition of normal.

So, instead of comparing our lives to the “normal” of other families, we need to establish a new normal for us.  And two words have been helpful in establishing a healthy normal for me as a pastor.

SERVE

As a pastor, the Christmas season is a time I get to serve.  Putting on Christmas services for our congregations and community is not a “have to,” it is a “get to.”  I don’t have full control of my circumstances but I have 100% control of my perspective.

It is my choice whether or not I see my serving as a blessing or a burden.  To me, it is sort of like the person who has to wait tables on Christmas.  They can either do it with a “bah humbug” spirit or they can see it as a privilege to serve people a great meal.  In the same way, spiritually speaking, we get to wait tables and serve up a great spiritual meal celebrating the moment that the eternal, infinite God became flesh.

So, are you go through these new few weeks, remind yourself that ministry is a “get to”.  Let that truth put a little more bounce in your step and a little more in your words.

SAVOR

Even though the Christmas season has a certain craziness and chaos to it, we can choose to savor holy moments.  When we savor something, we enjoy it, linger over it, and take in the moment.  

Luke 2:17-19 says When they (the shepherds) had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were AMAZED at what the shepherds told them.  BUT Mary TREASURED UP all these things and PONDERED THEM in her heart.

Mary is trying to soak it all in.  In the middle of a stable and surrounded by noisy animals, with excited shepherds telling their story, and a newborn that she is trying to take care of, in her soul she creates her own little sanctuary.  And for a few moments takes time to treasure and ponder all that is happening.

I want you to notice something that happens in verse 18.

Notice that everyone hears the same thing… but they have 2 very different responses.    The crowd is impressed, but Mary is impacted.  The crowd listens, but Mary lingers.  They are experiencing the same exact moment, but they have two different responses.  

I really believe that the richness of your holiday season is directly related to your ability to linger over God-moments.  Let me give you a challenge for the rest of this month.  Don’t let your work and ministry overshadow the wonder and mystery of this season. Savor the “God moments.”

Lance is the founder of Replenish ministries and is often referred to as a Pastor’s Pastor.  He is also the author of the book Replenish, which is dedicated to helping leaders live and lead from a healthy soul.  Before launching Replenish, Lance served 20 years as a senior pastor and 6 years as an Executive/Teaching pastor at Saddleback Church. 

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

Robert Jennifer

commented on Dec 31, 2017

My Name is jennifer am from London..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster when i contacted this man called .Dr akhere.He is really powerful..My husband divorced me with no reason for almost 5 years and i tried all i could to have him back because i really love him so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married happily for 4 years with two kids and he woke up one morning and he told me he is going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when she came back from work she tender to me a divorce letter and he packed all his properties from our house..i ran mad and i tried all i could to have her back but all did not work out..i was lonely for almost 5years.So when i told the spell caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for his full name and her picture..i gave him that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it a try cos have tried so many spell casters and there is no solution.so when he finished with the readings,he got back to me that she’s with a man and that man is the reason why she left me.The spell caster said he will help me with a spell that will surely bring her back.but i never believe all this.he told me i will see a positive result within 24 hour..24 hour later after the spell has been casted,he called me himself and came to me apologizing and she told me she will come back to me..I cant believe this,it was like a dream cos i never believe this will work out after trying many spell casters and there is no solution..The spell caster is so powerful and after that he helped me with a pregnancy spell and my wife got pregnant again ..we are now happy been together again and with lovely kids..This spell caster has really changed my life and i will forever be thankful to her..he has helped many friends too with similar problem and they are happy and thankful to her..This man is indeed the most powerful spell caster have ever experienced in life..Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone who has similar problem and still looking for a way out. Get your scam money back Bring back lost lover, even if lost for a long time Remove bad spells from homes, business & customer attraction etc. Get promotion you have desired for a long time at work or in your career. Read all your problems before you even mention them to him Remove the black spot that keeps on taking your money away Find out why you are not progressing in life and the solution Eliminate in family fights Ensure excellent school grades even for children with mental disabilities Stop your marriage or relationship from breaking apart I destroy and can send back the Nikolos if requested heal barrenness in women and disturbing menstruation Get you marriage to the lover of your choice Guarantee you win the troubling court cases & divorce no matter how what stage Ensure success in work and business Mental illness & bewitched Can?t sleep at night or walking at night Recover stolen property and whereabouts of people that hurt you. Bring supernatural luck into Pregnancy spell to conceive baby you can reach him here... AKHERETEMPLE@gmail.com

Join the discussion