The Parable Principle
Move beyond the familiar story to the deeper story.
Depending on whom you ask, it has been some 2,000 years since Jesus' birth. That's a lot of Christmases. We all know that any event, even something as amazing as the Incarnation of the Son of God, will eventually start to feel stale. This shouldn't surprise us. We all know our human tendency to let important events fade in wonder as the years go by. After all, how many years does it take for a husband to forget his wedding anniversary or for a child to forget her parents' birthdays? If you're anything like me it sure won't take 2,000 years.
Despite how natural this tendency is, our first instinct is to beat ourselves up for feeling distant from the Christmas story, as if feeling guilty about our lack of connection to Christmas might somehow spark newfound appreciation. Sure, this approach might help for a single season, but the following year, I'm usually right back where I started from, struggling to find inspiration. And even worse is that the sermons that ...