To the preacher, Christmas offers the greatest opportunity of the whole year.  People who rarely attend church
through the year will come at Christmas.  Can something be said that will bring them back?  People whose hearts are
hard are often softened at Christmas.  Can that be used to get the gospel inside?

        Christmas also offers the greatest challenge of the whole year.  What can be said that has not been said a thousand
times before?  Perhaps nothing, but surely it can be said in a fresh way.  Can the preacher tell the old, old story in
ways that are new enough to be interesting and different enough to be memorable?

        Yes!  He can put a new robe on old and familiar truths.  He can display them in a different light.  He can show
neglected aspects, nuances, and applications.  That s what this book is all about.  The message of Christmas is
ageless.  It cannot be changed, and it ought not be changed.  But the very fact that we are so familiar with it puts
special demands on the preacher.  In fact, the highest challenge a preacher faces is that of saying something fresh
about old and familiar texts.  We have within us the conviction the divine truth is always inexhaustible.  We are
certain that it is possible to be original and creative in preaching the birth of our Lord.  But it is not easy.  It demands
our very best efforts.

        This opportunity and challenge come to the preacher at the most difficult time of the year.  If others are busy, he
is doubly busy.  The pressures of time and duties are multiplied for him.  That is why this book was written.  For in the
midst of his busiest weeks, the preacher wants very much to rise to the challenge and opportunity of preaching at

        The material here is meant to be used either directly or indirectly.  Let it be the spark that sets afire your own
imagination.  Let it be the catalyst that precipitates your own creative powers.  Let it be the key that unlocks the
potential for your own originality.

Table of Contents
Calls to Worship

Scanned by John Borntrager