Thursday, December 03, 2015

Ideas For Christmas Sermons

I recently referred to the problem of Protestants being shallow and overly repetitive in their sermons, including Christmas sermons. I discussed a related problem a couple of years ago. There was a news story about how pastors neglect apologetic issues during the Christmas season, even when those issues are prominent in the society around them. In light of these problems, I want to post some ideas for potential Christmas sermons, in addition to the idea I suggested in the first post linked above. This list isn't meant to be exhaustive. These are just several among many more that could be added. The links below, including links on scripture passages, will take you to relevant posts in the Triablogue archives. These are just ideas in seed form, which would need to be developed to produce sermons, Sunday school classes, blog posts, or whatever. The posts I link provide further thoughts about how to develop these themes:

- Jesus' childhood outside the infancy narratives (there are many sermon possibilities within that category, as the series I've linked illustrates)

- John 8:12 (perhaps along with the related Matthew 4:15-6, or Matthew 4 could be addressed independently)

- Jesus' family (going beyond what's commonly said about Mary and Joseph, to include material about his siblings and his upbringing, for example)

- the significance of the incarnation (including the fulfillment of Haggai 2:9 and Malachi 3:1 in Luke 2:22-38)

- the incarnation as warfare against Satan

- Jesus' fulfillment of the Son of David prophecy

- Jesus' fulfillment of the Bethlehem prophecy

- Jesus' fulfillment of the prophecies of a light to the nations in Genesis 12, Isaiah 9, Isaiah 49, Micah 5, etc. (the Christmas season is highly significant in this context, as I explain in the post just linked)

- typological prophecy fulfillment

- the cumulative implications of these prophecy fulfillments (this would be a good conclusion to a series of sermons, Sunday school classes, etc. on Christmas prophecies)

- evidence for the virgin birth and responses to objections

- what the star of Bethlehem was and its significance

- Jesus' humility and substitutionary righteousness in his childhood (these and other themes are relevant to the passages about Jesus' childhood that mention the opposition he faced, his submission to his parents and other authorities, etc.)

- the origins and history of the Christmas holiday and whether the holiday is acceptable by Christian standards (you could get into the disputes over the alleged pagan nature of the holiday, the ethical issues surrounding Santa Claus, and/or other related issues)

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