The last time Christmas Day fell on a Sunday was 2008. In that year, John H. Barden suggested to readers of Homily Service that they should take a minimalist approach to the sermon.
With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, those of us who come from traditions that don’t normally have Christmas Day services have both an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity is to celebrate in a creative way a day that is normally given over to family gatherings, unwrapping of presents, and television watching. The challenge is to hold the attention of a congregation that is unaccustomed to attending worship on what is often, strangely, considered a family holiday, rather than a religious holiday. With that said, this is not the time to make some theological point or reveal the insights of your latest research on Christology... It is a time for playfulness and awe and wonder and poetry. Instead of reading the Isaiah text, have a soloist sing the aria “How Beautiful Are the Feet,” from Handel’s Messiah, or have the choir sing the Bach hymn “Break Forth O Beauteous Heavenly Light” (found in most hymnals)... If you are in a tradition that doesn’t require a homily, read the Hebrews text and the prologue to John and proceed directly with the powerful liturgy of the Lord’s table.
Are you planning to preach on Christmas Day?