Track 1: Noel – Chris Tomlin Ft Lauren Daigle
Christmas Sermons By Sterling W. Sill
One of the interesting characteristics of our lives is the wide variety of experiences of which they are made up. We have different kinds of work; the contrasts in our thoughts cover an extended area; and different occasions have different significance to us. Even the days of our week are different and are used for a different purpose. It has been said that our civilization itself would never have survived for half a century if it had not been for this one day in seven that we call Sunday.
This is the day that serves as our Sabbath. This is the day when we try to reach a pinnacle in our performance, This is the day when we pay particular attention to the cleanliness of our bodies and minds. This is the day when we put on our best clothes and think our best thoughts and read our best books. This is the day when we associate with the people that we love the most. This is the day for which we usually reserve the best meal of the week.
And then after we have laid aside the cares that usually concern us during the other six days, we go to the house of prayer and let our minds reach up and try to understand the purposes for which this day was set apart. We set aside one day to use for that important idea of thanksgiving; on one day we celebrate the Fourth of July; on one day we commemorate Easter; and one day we set apart as a day of memories, which we call Memorial Day. We set apart the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day and the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day, in which we keep that great command, “Honour thy father and thy mother.”
Then, in his great wisdom, God himself has set apart one seventh of all the days as Sabbath days. This is a kind of Heavenly Father’s day when we try to honour God by living at our best. We may let down our guard a little bit between Monday and Saturday, but by the time the Sabbath comes again, we try to get back up on the highest level where we can see the issues of life most clearly.
Then, once each year, we do something a little different. To give emphasis to this idea, we set aside a whole season as Christmas. This is a kind of Sabbath for the entire year. This is a whole season when we try to maintain ourselves at our highest level. This is also a time when we make an appraisal of the past and try to get ourselves ready for a brand new year. This is when we make our new year’s resolutions, set our goals, and at our best we make some determinations of what our eternal lives should be like.
This recalls the idea that we also have different kinds of communications and instructions. Between ourselves, with each other, and with God, our speech itself has a different purpose. We have a type of conversation that is primarily intended as a means of killing time. Speech is also used to give instructions in geography or history. We sometimes tell each other how to be more effective in our occupations and our recreations. Even for our Sunday experiences or our Christmas communications, we have several kinds of verbal interchange. Our righteous prayers are carried to the throne of God.
One of our most important kinds of communication with each other is what we call the sermon. Sermons carry with them a little more serious tone than do mere conversations or stories of life’s ordinary experiences. The dictionary says that a sermon is a serious address. It is made up of religious instruction. It may have to do more intimately with our conduct or our understanding or our duty or our sacred life’s opportunities. A sermon is language dressed up in its best clothes. A sermon is usually grounded on some passage of scripture or based on some other sacred text or experience. Shakespeare mentions that there are sermons in stones, tongues in trees, books in running brooks, and good in everything. God preaches great sermons to us through the wonders of his universe, the wisdom of his all-important natural laws, and by means of godliness, which he has put into the lives of his offspring.
Of course, some of the greatest sermons in the world are those recorded in the Holy Scripture. They were inspired by the Lord and primarily they tell us about God’s own ideas and activities. They also project the most advantageous program for our benefit. Once each year we unpack our boxes of tinsel and Christmas decorations to make our Christmas trees and our homes more beautiful. At this season of the year we also use special Christmas salutations and printed messages of peace and good will to each other. We have our Christmas feasts and enjoy our sparkling Christmas festivities. And then, in addition, we ought to unpack some great ideas so that with ourselves and our children we can read and hear and think and speak some Christmas sermons.
It is hoped that what follows may help us to dress up our spirits in their finest ambitions so that we may live at our best throughout the new year.