Challenging Christmas traditions (ii)

Is it possible to preach or speak in a way which acknowledges tradition and its value, but at the same time seeks to move through or beyond the traditions of Christmas and focus on the actual meaning of Christmas in the New Testament accounts? Here is an outline of my attempt to do so from last Sunday. You might be assured to learn that I did leave the church building unharmed.

(How) does Jesus fulfil our longings?

To long for things is characteristic of being human. It is in our nature to reach into the future, to envisage that things will be different from how they are now, to imagine our possessing of things, qualities and attitudes that we do not at present have—even to be people that we are not yet. This sense of longing often focuses on key issues, things of central importance to us: