Monday, December 12, 2022

"Keep the main thing the main thing"

Kevin DeYoung's advice to pastors this season:
.... Don’t get cute at Christmas. Your people need regular meat and potatoes, not the newest eggnog recipe. Stay away from props and video clips. Put to death the Star Wars tie-in you’ve been really excited about. Don’t worry about preaching the same truths and the same themes. They don’t remember last year’s sermon anyway. Go ahead and tell them the old, old story one more time.

That means the Christmas Eve service should not be about the evils of shopping or the dangers of busyness. We can leave behind clever cliches like “Wise Men Still Seek Him” or “Have Yourself a Mary Christmas.” There’s no need to focus for 40 minutes on what exactly was the Star of Bethlehem, and if you are going to talk about the Magi, don’t make it an academic lecture on Persian astrology. Let’s spare our people the usual harangue about how Protestants have ignored Mary for too long (even though, I’ve heard that sermon and read those articles every year since I was a kid). Let’s not get caught up in the dating of Christmas or debunking the supposed parallels with Mithras.

Are any of these things wrong in themselves? Of course not. I’ve touched on these themes in a number of messages over the years. But let’s keep the main thing the main thing.

There will be unbelievers at your Christmas Eve service. And struggling saints. And weary souls. And wayward sinners. And stragglers who have ventured into a church for the first time in a long time. They need to hear about Jesus, about the Word made flesh, about the only begotten Son sent from the Father, about the one who fulfilled ancient prophecy, about the one who came to save his people from their sins. ....
Kevin DeYoung, "Pastor, Don’t Get Cute this Christmas," December 12, 2022.

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