Free Sample of our Sermon Illustrations

Excellence in the Pulpit!

We strive to deliver the best sermon preparation resources in the world. Committed to Christ and in love with the written word, our illustrations, homilies, biblical commentary, and funeral sermons help you craft sound exegetical sermons that reach today's congregations. With tens of thousands of sermons and illustrations from the most respected writers in the church, such as Leonard Sweet, Maxie Dunnam, James Merritt, you can be sure that every week you will look forward to stepping into the pulpit like never before.

Customer Reviews

"I just had to write to express my appreciation for your service. I subscribed to sermons.com about three weeks ago and it has made such a positive difference in my sermon preparation and preaching!! It is the best money I have ever spent in my 10+ years of parish ministry!"

Thank you!

Pastor Gene
The Meaning of the Manger

Every year there is displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York an eighteenth century painting of the nativity scene. It's traditional in every sense except one. Behind the cradle, in the far distance, we see the ruins of the mighty Roman columns. The artist knew the meaning of the Bethlehem manger. The birth of God's new age means the death of man's old world.

Staff Writers, Sermons.com.


Getting Rid of the Bah Humbugs

Many years ago the Puritans thought that they were ruining Christmas with all their pagan rituals. They especially objected to the fact that the holiday usually came on a week day, therefore distracting people, they thought, from the Lord's Day of Sunday. But they did more than annually complain about it as we do. They took action and got rid of Christmas altogether. In Puritan settlements across 17th century America a law was passed outlawing the celebration of Christmas. The market place was ordered to stay open for business as though it were no special occasion and all violators were prosecuted. It was against the law to make plum pudding on December 25th. The celebration was not referred to as Yuletide but as fooltide.

So we want to reform Christmas and clean it up do we? Well, is this how far we want ot go? Do we really want to be rid of it altogether. Then will Christmas, as the Puritans thought, be saved from us and our sinful ways. So what if we spend $40 billion annually on presents. Can you think of a better way of spending all that money than on gifts of love. And most of them are just that. And so what if all the lights and tinsel does create a fairy tale setting that soon disappears as does the so called Christmas spirit. At least it lets us know, if only for a brief time, what life can be like if we only try.

So let the message ring out this day, not that we are destroying this holy day, but rather, that we can never destroy this day. Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be for all generations. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord.

Staff Writers, Sermons.com.


Celebratory Fires

History records for us an interesting footnote. It was during the dark winter of 1864. At Petersburg, Virginia, the Confederate army of Robert E. Lee faced the Union divisions of General Ulysses S. Grant. The war was now three and a half years old and the glorious charge had long since given way to the muck and mud of trench warfare. Late one evening one of Lee's generals, Major General George Pickett, received word that his wife had given birth to a beautiful baby boy. Up and down the line the Southerners began building huge bonfires in celebration of the event. These fires did not go unnoticed in the Northern camps and soon a nervous Grant sent out a reconnaissance patrol to see what was going on. The scouts returned with the message that Pickett had had a son and these were celebratory fires. It so happened that Grant and Pickett had been contemporaries at West Point and knew one another well, so to honor the occasion Grant, too, ordered that bonfires should be built.

What a peculiar night it was. For miles on both sides of the lines fires burned. No shots fired. No yelling back and forth. No war fought. Only light, celebrating the birth of a child. But it didn't last forever. Soon the fires burned down and once again the darkness took over. The darkness of the night and the darkness of war.

The good news of Christmas is that in the midst of a great darkness there came a light, and the darkness was not able to overcome the light. It was not just a temporary flicker. It was an eternal flame. We need to remember that. There are times, in the events of the world and in the events of our own personal lives, that we feel that the light of the world will be snuffed out. But the Christmas story affirms that whatever happens, the light still shines.

Staff Writers, Sermons.com.


Consider Again Christmas

When Pope Julius I authorized December 25 to be celebrated as the birthday of Jesus in A.D. 353, who would have ever thought that it would become what it is today.

When Professor Charles Follen lit candles on the first Christmas tree in America in 1832, who would have ever thought that the decorations would become as elaborate as they are today.

It is a long time since 1832, longer still from 353, longer still from that dark night brightened by a special star in which Jesus the king was born. Yet, as we approach December 25 again, it gives us yet another opportunity to pause, and in the midst of all the excitement and elaborate decorations and expensive commercialization which surround Christmas today, to consider again the event of Christmas and the person whose birth we celebrate.

Brian L. Harbour, James W. Cox, The Minister's Manual: 1994, San Fransico: Harper Collins, 1993, p. 254.


Taking Christmas to Heart

A popular play and movie this time of year, one I always enjoy watching is A Christmas Carol. There is one scene that has always fascinated me. The Ghost of Christmas Past has just paid a very discomforting visit to Ebenezer Scrooge. Clearly the old miser is shaken by the entire ordeal. But when he awakens from his sleep does he take the message to heart. No, he simply dismisses it by saying: Bah, humbug, it wasn't real.

"Just a bit of last nights undigested beef," he says to himself, "There is more gravy about you than the grave." A vision to be taken to heart or simple indigestion. You tell me.

Staff Writers, Sermons.com.


What have you heard and Seen this Christmas?

Oh, you say, had I been there at Bethlehem that night I would have seen. I would have understood. I would have known it was the Christ child. Would you? There is one way of knowing:

Ask yourself what you have seen and heard this Christmas Season.

When you watched the 6:00 news did you see chaos and strife, or did you see sheep without a shepherd. When you went out to do your shopping did you see only hordes of people in the stores, or did you notice the worried expressions on some of their faces--worried because they are facing this Christmas without employment or enough money and they don't know how they are going to make ends meet.


What did you hear this Christmas?

Did you hear only the blast of music and carols, or did you hear the silent sighs of the lonely and the bereaved who may be dreading Christmas because it accentuates their loneliness. And in the midst of the sounds of honking horns and people arguing over parking places, did you hear faint sounds of laughter coming from Asbury Church missions projects because you furnished food and toys for families and children.

You see, so often what you see and what you hear is not dependent upon the event but upon you. If you did in fact hear the cry from the lonely, the laughter of poor children, if you saw the sheep without a shepherd, then, and only then, might you have noticed the events that took place in Bethlehem that night. If you lacked that spiritual seeing and hearing then you probably would have been with the 99% who were present but who saw or heard nothing out of the ordinary.

In the end perhaps one of our carols words it best: No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin. Where meek souls shall receive him still, the dear Christ enters in. Amen.

Staff Writers, Sermons.com.


100 other Christmas illustrations are available inside our memberhsip area along with thousands of illustrations provided all year long. Illustrations can be viewed according to the lectionary or searched by scripture or keyword. Click Join Now to sign up!

Join Now

sermons.com presents Leonard Sweet