Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Preaching

I had a hard time coming up with what to preach this Christmas season. I began preaching weekly in 1983 (plus a stint in 1981 as a six-months interim in Kingsport, TN). Maybe it is lack of creativity, but I had a hard time being excited about preaching Christmas this year. It was not that I was not excited about Christmas, I just felt like my reading of the Christmas story had become old hat.

I decided to preach a series that I couldn't get out of my mind that I couldn't see that I had preached yet. It was related to emotions and healing. And so that was the direction I went. But in order to keep this from happening again, I laid out what I had preached on at Christmastime for the past twenty years. In 1987, we moved from the Wichita, KS area (Benton, KS) to Garden City, KS where I began a 13 year ministry, followed by the 8 years (so far) here in Oregon. Much to my chagrin, I see some patterns that mean my choice of texts and subjects is pretty much the same year after year! Yuck! Now, I realize that there is a limited number of Christmas texts, but I seem to be overusing the same old ones. I think that I will do some looking at the lectionary before next Christmas and see if it offers some helpful ideas.

For what it is worth, here is my list of sermon titles and texts along with any series I could identify:

(No, the guy in the white robe is not me...)


2007: Christmas: the Healing Season

  • Dec. 2 Healing of Barrenness (Zechariah & Elizabeth) (Luke 1:5-25; 57-80)
  • Dec. 9 Healing of Hurt (Joseph)
  • Dec. 16 Healing of Anger (Herod)
  • Dec. 23 Healing of Fear (Mary)
  • Dec. 30 Healing of Mourning (Women of Bethlehem)

2006: A Christmas to Learn Dependence

  • Dec. 3 Ready Willing & Waiting (Matt. 1:1-17)
  • Dec. 10 There’s Something About Joseph (Matt. 1:18-25)
  • Dec. 17 The Grinch…Named Herod (Luke 1:5-66; 2:1-20)
  • Dec. 24 Generation to Generation (Luke 1:46-56)

2005 Always Winter, Never Christmas

  • Dec. 4: “Aslan is on the Move” (The Hope of Christmas) (Heb. 6:18-19)
  • Dec. 11 Turkish Delight (The Power of Sin to Capture) (John 8:34)
  • Dec. 18 The Lion of Judah (Who is the one in the manger?) (Rev. 5:5)
  • Dec. 25: What If It Never (Were?) Was Christmas? (Luke 2:1)

2004:

  • Preached a series on stewardship up until the Sunday before Christmas
  • Dec. 19-Desperate Housewives (and other Christmas Shoppers) Luke 2:1-7
  • Dec. 26 Sunday after Christmas--Beyond Christmas (story of Joseph)

2003: Christmas Conflict

  • Nov. 25 …Belief vs. Skepticism (Zechariah and the Angel)
  • Dec. 7 …Joy vs. Disillusionment (May and Joseph)
  • Dec. 14 …Spiritual vs. Material (The Shepherds)
  • Dec 21…Humility vs. Egotism (The Wise Men and Herod)
  • Dec. 28- Holiday vs. Reality (Slaughter of the Innocents)

2002

  • Did stewardship series up until Dec. 15
  • Dec. 22 What Christmas is All About (Micah 5:4-5)

2001: Waiting for Christmas

  • Dec. 9 Only 1,095,000 Shopping Days Until Christmas (Gen. 3:15)
  • Dec. 16 Open My Eyes that I May See (Ps. 2 & 22)
  • Dec. 23 A Christmas Carol (Isa. 8:19-9:7)

2000

  • Dec. 3 Finished Vital Connections series
  • Dec. 10 Joseph—Believe the Best in People (Matt. 1:18-25)
  • Dec. 17 Mary—Trust God for the Impossible (Luke 1:26-38)
  • Dec. 24 Staff person preached

1999

  • 12/5 Only 1,095,000 Shopping Days Until Christmas (Gen. 3:15)
  • Next Sunday was my farewell sermon at BCC & then we moved to Oregon.

  • 1998
  • 11/29 Shepherds Seize the Moment (Luke 2:18-20)
  • 12/13 Christmas-Prepare the Way (Luke 7:18-28)
  • 12/20 Jesus: Prince of Egypt (Matt 1:18-25)

1997 Open before Christmas

  • 11/30 Open My Ears (Is 55:3)
  • 12/7 Seeing is Believing (Luke 2:25-32)
  • 12/28 Open Your Mouth (Luke 2:20)

1996

  • 12/1 Only 1,095,000 Shopping Days Until Christmas (Gen. 3:15)
  • 12/8 Could Jesus be born at Bible Christian Church? (Phil 2:5-7)
  • 12/15 Open My Eyes That I May See (Ps. 2)
  • 12/22 A Christmas Carol (Isa 9:1-7)

1995

  • 12/10 Christmas-Healing from Hurts (Matt 1:18-25)
  • 12/17 Christmas-Healing from Anger (Matt 2:1-16)
  • 12/24 Christmas-Healing of Fear (Luke 1:26-38)

1994

  • 12/4 From Barrenness to Celebration (Luke 1:5-20)
  • 12/11 From Anger to Peace (Matt 2:1-18)
  • 12/18 An Awesome Night (Luke 2:17-18)
  • 12/25 The Giving Season (Luke 1:38)

1993

  • 12/5 The Small Becomes Great (Ps. 22)
  • 12/12 O Come Let Us Adore Him (2 Sam 6:1-22)
  • 12/19 Unto You is Born in the City of David (Micah 5:2-5)

1992

  • 12/6 Between Alpha & Omega (Rev. 22:12-13)
  • 12/13 Dayspring from on High (Luke 1:78-79)
  • 12/20 Just Call Me Jesus (Matt 1:21)
  • 12/27 He Shall Be Called a Nazarene (Matt 2:23)

1991

  • 12/1 The Word in the World (John 1:1-18)
  • 12/8 Rediscovering Unity (Isa 58:11-12)
  • 12/15 Whose Child is This? (Matt 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38)
  • 12/22 Prophet, Priest & King (Luke 2:11)
1990
  • 12/2 Prepared but Not Ready (Gal. 4.4)
  • 12/9 Messiah Our Deliverer (Rom 11.26)
  • 12/16 The Christ is Now Here (Ps. 110)

1989 –People at the Manger

  • 12/3 The Forgotten Joseph (Matt 1:15-25)
  • 12/10 Fear Not (Luke 2:2-18)
  • 12/17 Mary an Example of Giving (Luke 1:26-38)
  • 12//24 Wonderful Counselor (Isa 9:1-7)

1988

  • 12/4 God’s Creative Love (John 4:10-11)
  • 12/11 Incarnation: Fact or Fiction? (John 1:1-18)
  • 12/18 Emmanuel- God With Us (Isa 7:14)

1987

  • 12/13 The Who of Christmas (Luke 2)
  • 12/20 The Where of Christmas (Luke 2)
  • 12/23 She Treasured & Pondered (Luke 2:19-51)

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