I’ve been in pastoral ministry for 35 years. During that time I have aways preached Christmas messages during the whole month of December. Many of my friends in ministry have difficulty coming up with a unique Christmas message once or twice a year but have preached from five to nine Christmas messages every year for three and a half decades. I love Christmas preaching.
About this time of the year I start thinking about it and planning for it. When the children were small in early to mid-November I would go to the library and check out a big stack of Christmas books. I would drive to the city and spend time browsing through Christian bookstores getting ideas and illustrations and researching interesting, fresh approaches to the wonderful ancient Christmas story we all love so much. I would begin to play Christmas music quietly in my study while I planned so the story of Christmas would sink down into my soul. That was back in the cassette-tape era, when it was a little more work to keep a fresh archive of Christmas music. I spent hours creating mix-tapes of Christmas music so our lives would be flooded with beautiful Christ-honoring music.
Yesterday Holly (no she was not born at Christmas) was talking about Ann Voskamp’s new Christmas book; “The Greatest Gift.” I went on a hunt for the book and on my third bookstore I found it. I have started my Christmas preparations. Never before have I sensed such a great need for Christ among the people in our region. We must make Him known. I’m unapologeticlly starting early.
The photo is from Ann Voskamp’s wonderful site: A Holy Experience.