Anticipating Advent :: Warren WiersbeBy Warren W. Wiersbe
Now is the time for all dedicated preachers to start preparing for the Christmas season. The four Sundays of the Advent season are December 1, 8, 15 and 22; and if you wanted to do a series of five messages, you could include 29.
Why preach a Christmas series? Because people are thinking about the season, for one thing; and wise is the minister who sows his seed when the soil is ready. We do not emphasize the miracle of the Incarnation as we should, or else we deal with it in a cursory manner.
"The Word became flesh…" What a tremendous truth!
You can develop a series around the names of our Lord found in Isaiah 9:6. If you make the first name "Wonderful Counselor," you will have four messages; follow the KJV and some other versions, and you will have five. You can close the series on December 29 if you decide to preach on five names.
For an example of a series on Isaiah 9:6, see my little book His Name is Wonderful (Tyndale).
Another helpful series can be based on the word "manifest" in I John. Why was Christ manifested in flesh? That he might reveal eternal life (1:1-4); that He might take away sin (3:5); that He might defeat Satan (3:8); and that He might reveal God's love (4:9).
"The Songs of Christmas" would make an interesting Advent series. You will want to use the songs of Mary (Luke 1:46-56), Zacharias (Luke 1:67-80), the angels (Luke 2:8-14) and Simeon (Luke 2:25-35).
The "glory of God" is a key topic in the story of the Incarnation (John 1:14). Perhaps you could trace the glory of God in the Scriptures-in the tabernacle and temple, in the Person of Jesus Christ, in the church and in the individual believer. Get your concordances out and study the glory of God! Note especially how Ezekiel describes the departing of the glory from the temple.
Along with the word "glory," there are other words that are important in the Christmas story: joy (Luke 2:10), peace (Luke 2:14) and grace (II Cor. 8:9) come to mind.
I once did a series on four "Christmas Questions", (1) Why Bethlehem? (2) Why Shepherds? (3) Why a Baby? (4) Why the Magi?
You might consider four messages on "The Saviour's Birth Announcements." Begin with the Old Testament announcements, starting, of course, with Genesis 3:15. But don't just string together a series of prophecies-build the texts into practical messages that encourage the heart.
Continue with the announcement of the angels, and then the announcement of the star. You could use Hebrews 10 for the last message-the Saviour's own birth announcement: "Lo, I come!"
Christmas preaching demands imagination, but the rewards are worth all the praying, studying and planning that you do. The prepared preacher can, with God's help, penetrate that "commercial complex" that too often clouds the minds of people at the Christmas season.
Merry Christmas-and happy preaching!
©2002 WWW Used by permission. This article is copyrighted by the author and is for your individual use. Reproduction for any other purpose is governed by copyright laws and is strictly prohibited. This material originally appeared in Prokope, July-August 1985.