Sometimes it is hard to preach.

For me, strangely enough, the hard times happen most often at the high festivals of the year: our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship services, or our Good Friday and Easter services. I've often puzzled, Why is it that preaching in those wondrous settings is the most demanding of all?

Perhaps the first reason is the very immensity of the truths themselves: that God became flesh in Jesus of Bethlehem. Or that he suffered death and was raised again m the third day. How enormous the truth!

The second reason is that, as preachers, we're tempted to think we've got to be novel or personally impressive. That's a delusion. To me, that's like a butcher thinking he has to be creative and stylish with his knife strokes when, in fact, it's the bacon and roast beef and pork roast that people want. They want the nourishment, and the butcher doesn't have to do handsprings in addition.

As a preacher, I have to remind myself I'm preparing something for people who want to ...

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