10 Sermon Texts That Aren’t Usually Used for Christmas (But Should Be)

Another Christmas, another opportunity to capture imaginations with the beauty of the Incarnation.

While the Matthew and Luke narratives will always be wonderful for this, there are plenty of other passages in Scripture that can draw out themes and nuances often neglected.

Why not explore with one of these texts?

1. Genesis 3:15

Often considered the first Messianic prophecy recorded in Scripture, this verse finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus—the offspring of a woman, who eventually crushes Satan. No more let sins and sorrow grow / Nor thorns infest the ground / He comes to make his blessings flow / Far as the curse is found, writes Watts. Genesis 3:15 predicts the seed who would come to uproot the thorns and break the curse of sin.

2. Gen. 49:8–12

Toward the end of Genesis, Jacob speaks a word of prophecy over each of his sons. He promises Judah, from whom Jesus would ultimately descend, that the scepter will not depart from him. Jacob calls Judah “a lion’s cub,” and Scripture goes on to call Jesus the Lion from the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). This unique passage offers an opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ supreme authority, which he holds even when he is just a cub.  

3. Exodus 1:1–2:10

There are striking parallels between Moses’ infancy and Jesus’. Both are born in humble circumstances. Both escape murderous plots of evil rulers. Both grow up to lead their people out of captivity. This passage can help your congregation appreciate the way the Bible holds together, as well as see God’s sovereign hand in preserving a mediator for his people.

4. Exodus 16

This is the narrative of God providing manna and quail for Israel as they wander in the desert. God sends bread from heaven, and in John 6 Jesus explicitly refers to this story and calls himself the “bread of life.” God sent eternal bread to hungry wanderers in the form of his Son, making this Exodus event a rich foreshadowing. A preacher can capture the imagination of a congregation—and follow the homiletical example of Christ himself—by drawing parallels between the physical hunger of Israel in the desert and the spiritual hunger of all those without Christ.

 

5. Exodus 33:12–23

In one of the most beautiful scenes of Exodus, Moses pleads boldly and personally to the Lord for his presence. The Lord honors Moses by agreeing to reveal his goodness and glory—but not his face. In the Incarnation, however, God is fully revealed, and his presence is offered to all who receive him. This intimate moment Moses experiences with God is made available to all through Christ—but we will see him “face to face” (1 John 3:2; 1 Cor. 13:12).

6. 2 Samuel 7

In this famous covenant God makes with David, God promises that his offspring’s throne will be established forever. Eventually the kingdom divides and falls, and by the time Jesus comes riding into Jerusalem on a donkey—several hundred years and two exiles later—the throne is still not established. So when the crowds shout “Hosanna to the Son of David!”, they are heralding this covenant: they are hoping in a king. Joy is bursting from under sorrow long held, because Hope has come. The Incarnation offers the same “thrill of hope” today.

7. Psalm 27

At the end of this psalm, David writes, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Christians today can repeat these words only because Christ has come and has promised to come again. Like Anna and Simeon, who in their old age finally beheld the hope they waited so long for (Luke 2:22-38), those who hope in Christ will not be disappointed.

8. Isaiah, various

Isaiah is chock-full of references to the coming Messiah. Chapter 7 speaks of a virgin who will conceive and bear a son, whose name will be called “Immanuel”—God with us. Chapter 9 provides a brief portrait of this Son-King, and it continues all throughout Isaiah, such as in chapters 11, 40–43, 49, and 58. Preachers could do a tour through Isaiah to fill out the portrait of the Messiah, and then juxtapose the majesty described there to the humility displayed in the manger, leading to a reflection on God’s wisdom in working mightily through humble means.

9. Angel appearances

Another interesting choice would be to preach on various angel appearances in Scripture. From the beginning of Old Testament history to its end—from Abraham all the way to Daniel—angel appearances tend to coincide with God’s revelation and rescue. So when angels burst onto the scene in Luke and Matthew, we know from past behavior that God is up to something big, something miraculous and merciful. Preaching through some of these angel appearances would build that sense of anticipation and provide texture to Jesus’ birth story. Consider Genesis 16, 19, 21, and 31–32; Deuteronomy 33:2 (see Psalms 68:17; Acts 7:53; and Galatians 3:19); 1 Kings 19; and Daniel 3 and 6.

10. Matthew 1:1–17 (plus vv. 18–23)

I’ve heard several sermons on this text that draw attention to the scandalous nature of Jesus’ family tree. The attention is justified. For one, it’s not common for genealogies in patriarchal societies such as Israel’s to mention women. It’s even more surprising, then, that when Matthew does, it’s to bring up memories that any family would rather forget, such as incestuous rape (Judah and Tamar, v. 3), prostitution (Rahab, v. 5), and adultery and murder (David and the wife of Uriah, v. 6). What’s the point of recalling such a sordid past? Probably to remind readers of God’s power to work beauty from ashes, to bring redemption from a family—and to the family—that desperately needs it. The genealogy provides an excellent opportunity to proclaim how the Incarnation means all our stories can be rewritten in Jesus.


Scripture is full of rivers and streams that flow to Jesus. These are just a sample of texts you can use for Christmas without bending them to be about the Incarnation. God bless you as you prepare your services this year.

Want to get your hands on this verse art and hundreds more? Start a free trial 30-day trial of Proclaim. Not only will you get our entire collection of verse art, but you’ll also get 14,000+ church media motions and stills, including plenty of Christmas-themed pieces. But those are just the perks. Proclaim is high-powered church presentation software made just for churches, designed to make building beautiful presentations easy, enjoyable, and collaborative. Start a free trial today.

Meet the New Proclaim Church Presentation Software

All-New Proclaim Church Presentation Software

Since its inception, Proclaim Church Presentation Software was designed to help your team collaborate on beautiful church presentations quickly. The second generation of Proclaim takes that to a whole new level. New features and an updated interface make the software faster and more intuitive. Combine that with more built-in automation and you have a powerful time-saver.

Your entire team can try the all-new Proclaim free for 30 days.

[Read more…]

Win $30K in Gear and Bible Study Resources for Your Church

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Proclaim is giving your church a chance to win over $30,000 in gear, Bible study resources, and solid Christian content!

To enter your church, follow Proclaim on Faithlife. It’s that easy.

Earn additional entries by inviting your church staff and friends. Every person you invite will earn you an extra entry—there’s no limit to how many entries you can earn! On March 31, a winner will be randomly selected from this group.

Invite your friends now.

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10 Tips for Planning Your Christmas Service

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Planning a Christmas service can be overwhelming—especially when Christmas is less than a month away. God’s Word, prayer, and theological convictions should shape the way you plan your Christmas services, but there are practical considerations as well. If you’re looking for fresh ideas to make your Christmas services great, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll even help you liven your church presentation with these awesome free slides from Proclaim.

Here are 10 practical ideas to consider when planning your Christmas services.
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The Simple Solution for Recording and Publishing Your Sermons

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Ask just about any church, and they’ll tell you they record sermons. While the process from church to church is a little different, the end result is the same—an audio file posted to the sermon archive on the church website. But what if you could simplify the sermon-recording process, and reach a wider audience with God’s Word?
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Church Media Is More Important Than Ever

why church media is important
Over the last decade, media has played a more prevalent role in the church than ever before.

And it shows no sign of slowing down.

By media, I mean everything from websites and worship presentations, to bulletins and podcasts. That flyer your administrator made for VBS? Guess what? It’s media! Your paper bulletin? Media! The accompanying track sister Elizabeth sang to? Media. It’s everywhere, and people can instantly spot sloppy, hastily thrown together work and the kind that shows you care.
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The Screen Is for Scripture

proclaim-church-presentation-software-logoAs you know, Faithlife built Logos Bible Software to get you into Scripture and study the Bible with smart tools and resources.

And Faithlife also built Proclaim Church Presentation Software with the same dedication to the Word. Proclaim allows thousands of churches all over the world to deliver insight with less time and frustration.

You can use Proclaim’s On-Screen Bible to show Bible verses with engaging animations that draw people into the Word. The Scripture is the most important thing to present. With On-Screen Bible, you can quickly insert an engaging animation that presents the Bible in context.

Here’s how easy it is to add an On-Screen Bible item to a presentation:

It’s simple: click “Add Item”, then “On-Screen Bible”. Type in the references you want to display, choose a translation and look of the animation, and include a book introduction if needed. Proclaim does the rest—building a beautiful animation instantly.

Proclaim comes with over $1,000.00 worth of free media, including the popular Verse of the Day series. Professional designers bring the Bible to life with these amazing works of art! Use these to highlight a passage or set the tone for your service.

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The Bible Screen motions, taken from the Verse of the Day series, are another beautiful way to show Scripture. Put a group of them together to play before church to draw people into deeper study and reflection. During the offering, show verses about giving or emphasize a particular verse from the sermon. The animations have enough movement to draw your attention without taking away from what is written.

 

 

 

 
Use Proclaim Signals to easily engage your congregation using their mobile phones. With Proclaim Signals, you can send a link to a mobile device with whatever Bible verse you have on the screen. No more flipping pages back and forth—simply tap the Proclaim Signal and you’ll be taken to the correct verse. People can easily follow you wherever you’re teaching from. Signals don’t stop with Bible verses—you can send calendar invites, contact cards, donation requests, or web links making it easier than ever to connect with your congregation.

Scripture belongs on the screen. Everything we do points to Scripture, so it should take a prominent place in the presentation. Proclaim helps pastors build beautiful presentations, but it does more than that: it’s about engaging people and encouraging them to go deeper in their study of the Bible.

You can get Proclaim free for 30 days. Download it today and place the emphasis where it belongs.

Take Back the Screen with Proclaim

proclaim-simple-powerful-intuitiveIt’s Sunday morning.

You worked on your sermon all week, and today is the day.

You read countless commentaries, listened to other sermons, and even rewrote the whole sermon Saturday night. It feels like a really great Sunday.

Before the service, you’re welcoming the new family while the media team is frantically gathering USB drives and building the final presentation. It’s 10:01 a.m, the first song starts and everything feels wrong. You are preaching about one attribute of God and the song is about another. Clearly this is going to be a mess! This is not what Sunday should feel like.

Let’s tell this story the Proclaim way:

It’s Sunday morning.

You worked on your sermon all week, and today is the day.

You are able to greet the new family without any stress. No need to make sure all of your notes are on the computer, no need to see what songs the worship leader chose—with Proclaim, you were able to collaborate on Sunday’s service all week long.

In Proclaim, you started a conversation about your sermon and let everyone know the topic. This allowed the worship team to pick songs that complement the sermon and guide people to the corresponding Scripture. The rest of the team joined in, and today the service will focus on a single aspect of God’s character. The music and the graphics on the screen lead everyone to the Scripture while the sermon ties everything together.

Sunday shouldn’t be stressful

Let Proclaim Church Presentation Software help you take back the power. Build your service with Proclaim so all the elements come together seamlessly (and beautifully). Proclaim stores all your presentation media in the cloud, so it will be on the church computer when you need to present.

Free for 30 days!

See how Proclaim can make your church presentations look great (and save you hours each week). Get Proclaim free for 30 days: download it with no strings attached!

Josh McDowell on What Proclaim Can Do for You

Josh McDowell is an apologist, evangelist, and writer recognized by Christians worldwide. Since 1960, McDowell has written or coauthored 138 books. He has also spoken to more than 25 million people, giving over 26,000 talks in 125 countries.

McDowell cares deeply about communicating the power of God’s love to all people. We had the chance to sit down with him and talk about Proclaim Church Presentation Software:

Try Proclaim for 30 days

Proclaim lives in the cloud, so you can collaborate with your team from wherever they work best. No more emailing large files or fumbling with flash drives. Best of all, it connects with many of the tools you already use, like Planning Center Online, CCLI SongSelect, Logos Bible Software, and Graceway Media.

Proclaim also comes loaded with more than $1,000.00 worth of first-class art, so you can start building engaging church presentations today.

Try it for free at ProclaimOnline.com/Download.

Pastor Appreciation Month: Get Huge Discounts

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“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” —Hebrews 13:7

As Pastor Appreciation Month continues, so do the savings. The month is halfway through, which means many of the deals are live!

Go to our Pastor Appreciation Month page to see today’s deals.

Deal of the day: sneak peek

Here’s a look at upcoming daily deals:

Day 15 (tomorrow!): J.A. Broadus Preaching Collection (3 vols.) 
Broadus was a master of both clarity in communication and sympathy with his audience. In this collection, you’ll discover not only his instructions for effective preaching, but also the text of 21 sermons and addresses he delivered. His History of Preaching is a fascinating guided tour of preaching practices, trends, highlights, and low points, from Old Testament figures through his own contemporaries.

Day 16: NavPress Spiritual Formation Collection (15 vols.)
This collection biblically and practically presents numerous spiritual disciplines that can transform your heart, mind, body, soul, and social life. It’s a comprehensive how-to for changing your complacent behavior, analyzing your heart’s intent, and transforming your life to an intentional pursuit of an authentic relationship with Christ.

Day 17: Welwyn Commentary Series (53 vols.)
Dedicated to the practical exposition and exhortation of Scripture, the 53-volume Welwyn Commentary Series contains over 13,000 pages of commentaries designed for pastoral ministry and preaching. Combining exegesis, hermeneutics, history, and pastoral insight, these scholarly resources are carefully crafted to meet the day-to-day needs of pastors as they grapple with the Word of God.

Day 18: Works of R.A. Torrey Collection (26 vols.)
Find nourishment for your mind and food for your soul as you explore the Bible’s details with the 26-volume Works of R.A. Torrey Collection. Torrey is one the great evangelists of our time, with an eye for exegesis and the practical wisdom of a seasoned servant.

Get your free book

Download The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, vol. 14 for free the entire month!

Thank your leaders

It’s not too late to honor those who labor in the gospel for us. Take time to do something special for them this month—big or small, it makes a difference! Rake their leaves, walk their dogs, make a delicious casserole for their family to enjoy—the possibilities are endless. Pray for and bless those who give their time and energy to you and spreading the gospel.

Don’t miss a single deal—sign up to hear about every Pastor Appreciation deal. Plus, get 30 days of Proclaim Church Presentation Software for free!




What do you most appreciate about your pastor? Tell us in the comments!