There is a deepening of the silence that normally accompanies the reading of Scripture, an increased attentiveness, an air of heightened expectation. Perhaps it is the solemnity of the evening, as we gather, candles in hand, to celebrate the birth of the Christ child. Perhaps it is the weight of tradition, aware that we listen to passages Christians have heard for centuries. But perhaps it is also the breathtakingly simple yet surprisingly powerful story of a young girl giving birth to her first child, attended only by shepherds and stable animals but heralded by angels above. David Lose; Luther Seminary (www.WorkingPreacher.org)
About this time of year there's nothing I want more, and am less likely to find, than a good Christmas sermon illustration. I've gathered a few in past years. You can find my annual collection here. And a few additional illustrations here. If you come across something that touches you, please (Please!) send it my way. I'm still looking for that little extra something for my messages next weekend.