Christmas 2022

Christmas 2022  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Messages from the Manger
Luke 1:38 I am the Lord’s servant, Mary answered. May your word to me be fulfilled.
The angel’s word to Mary would be fulfilled, but not without cost to Mary. First, to get pregnant outside of marriage was punishable by death (Deuteronomy 22:20-24). Second, Joseph might not believe the Holy Spirit made Mary pregnant, so he might break off the engagement (Matthew 1:19). Third, even if Mary convinced Joseph, she would not convince most people, and would bear the stigma the rest of her life (John 8:41). Fourth, even though she did not know it, the only crown Jesus would wear in her lifetime would be a crown of thorns (Matthew 27:29).
So when Mary said, I am the Lord’s servant, she had no idea what she had agreed to. But she knew the one with whom she had agreed. She knew in her heart that being called by God, and identified with Jesus Christ, outweighed any earthly cost. Jesus will seldom make our lives easier or simpler, but will always makes them deeper and more meaningful. He may cost us everything, but will make us unspeakably rich.
Reflection and Review Why did God choose Mary to be the mother of Christ? Why was it important for Jesus to be conceived by the Holy Spirit? Did Jesus make Mary’s life better or worse?
. . . the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
Luke 2:6-7
Mary found herself in labor, then her water broke. Like many before and since, she gasped in pain and pushed with all her might. Joseph watched as Jesus crowned and slipped into his waiting hands. Then he placed the baby in his mother’s arms, and Mary cradled Jesus to her breast. Her little Messiah began to nurse, and the love she felt for him can hardly be imagined.
Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! (Isaiah 49:15), said God.
It would have been easier for Mary not to love her nursing baby than for God not to love us. The amazing thing about the Savior’s birth is not that Mary loved Jesus, but that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Book in Logos: C is for Christmas
Great Preaching On: Christmas
10 Unexpected Christmas Sermon Texts Worth Using—and More
Christmas is upon us, and like last year, the world is—different. Yet students are still coming home for the holidays, and families are (mostly) still gathering. Amid the uncertainty, people are looking for comfort and even direction. It’s a vital time for solid, gospel-focused preaching.
Below we offer some unexpected Christmas texts worth using—plus some tips for how Logos can help you discover new Christmas sermon ideas. Plus, we’ll share why recording and archiving your Christmas sermon should be top of mind.
Start below with 10 unique Scripture passages to consider for your message—or hop to one of the following:
2 ways Logos can help you discover fresh Christmas sermon ideas
3 reasons why you should record your sermon this Christmas

10 unexpected Christmas sermon texts worth using

While the Matthew and Luke narratives are timeless Christmas sermons waiting to be preached, numerous other passages in Scripture can draw out themes and nuances often neglected.
Here are 10 to use as a starting point.

1. Genesis 3:15

Often considered the first Messianic prophecy recorded in Scripture, this verse finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus—the offspring of a woman, who eventually crushes Satan. Genesis 3:15 predicts the seed who would come to uproot the thorns and break the curse of sin.

2. Genesis 49:8–12

Toward the end of Genesis, Jacob speaks a word of prophecy over each of his sons. He promises Judah, from whom Jesus would ultimately descend, that the scepter will not depart from him. Jacob calls Judah “a lion’s cub,” and Scripture goes on to call Jesus the Lion from the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). This unique passage offers an opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ supreme authority, which he holds even when he is just a cub.

3. Exodus 1:1–2:10

There are striking parallels between Moses’ infancy and Jesus’. Both are born in humble circumstances. Both escape murderous plots of evil rulers. Both grow up to lead their people out of captivity. This passage can help your congregation appreciate the way the Bible holds together, as well as see God’s sovereign hand in preserving a mediator for his people.

4. Exodus 16

This is the narrative of God providing manna and quail for Israel as they wander in the desert. God sends bread from heaven, and in John 6 Jesus explicitly refers to this story and calls himself the “bread of life.” God sent eternal bread to hungry wanderers in the form of his Son, making this Exodus event a rich foreshadowing. You can capture the imagination of a congregation—and follow the homiletical example of Christ himself—by drawing parallels between the physical hunger of Israel in the desert and the spiritual hunger of all those without Christ.

5. Exodus 33:12–23

In one of the most beautiful scenes of Exodus, Moses pleads boldly and personally to the Lord for his presence. The Lord honors Moses by agreeing to reveal his goodness and glory—but not his face. In the incarnation, however, God is fully revealed, and his presence is offered to all who receive him. This intimate moment Moses experiences with God is made available to all through Christ—but we will see him “face to face” (1 John 3:2; 1 Cor. 13:12).

6. 2 Samuel 7

In this famous covenant God makes with David, God promises that his offspring’s throne will be established forever. Eventually, the kingdom divides and falls, and by the time Jesus comes riding into Jerusalem on a donkey—several hundred years and two exiles later—the throne is still not established. So when the crowds shout “Hosanna to the Son of David!”, they are heralding this covenant: they are hoping for a king. Joy is bursting from under sorrow long-held because Hope has come. The incarnation offers the same “thrill of hope” today.

7. Psalm 27

At the end of this psalm, David writes, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Christians today can repeat these words only because Christ has come and has promised to come again. Like Anna and Simeon, who in their old age finally beheld the hope they waited so long for (Luke 2:22–38), those who hope in Christ will not be disappointed.

8. Isaiah, various

Isaiah is chock-full of references to the coming Messiah. Chapter 7 speaks of a virgin who will conceive and bear a son, whose name will be called “Immanuel”—God with us. Chapter 9 provides a brief portrait of this Son-King, and it continues throughout Isaiah, such as in chapters 11, 40–43, 49, and 58. Preachers could do a tour through Isaiah to fill out the portrait of the Messiah and then juxtapose the majesty described there to the humility displayed in the manger, leading to a reflection on God’s wisdom in working mightily through humble means.

9. Angel appearances

Another interesting choice would be to preach on various angel appearances in Scripture. From the beginning of Old Testament history to its end—from Abraham to Daniel—angel appearances tend to coincide with God’s revelation and rescue. So when angels burst onto the scene in Luke and Matthew, we know from past behavior that God is up to something big, something miraculous and merciful. Preaching through some of these angel appearances would build that sense of anticipation and provide texture to Jesus’ birth story. Consider Genesis 16, 19, 21, and 31–32; Deuteronomy 33:2 (see Ps. 68:17; Acts 7:53; and Gal. 3:19); 1 Kings 19; and Daniel 3 and 6.

10. Matthew 1:1–17 (plus vv. 18–23)

Jesus’ family tree is a bit scandalous—and the attention is justified. For one, it’s not common for genealogies in patriarchal societies such as Israel’s to mention women. It’s even more surprising, then, that when Matthew does, it’s to bring up memories that any family would rather forget, such as incestuous rape (Judah and Tamar, v. 3), prostitution (Rahab, v. 5), and adultery and murder (David and the wife of Uriah, v. 6). What’s the point of recalling such a sordid past? It’s probably to remind readers of God’s power to work beauty from ashes, to bring redemption from a family—and to the family—that desperately needs it. The genealogy provides an excellent opportunity to proclaim how the incarnation means all our stories can be rewritten in Jesus.
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