The Spirit of Christmas

img_f0517412aa1Don’t freak out…I know it’s not Thanksgiving yet, but I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the Advent sermon series I am pondering.  Sometimes it is hard to believe, but Advent is right around the corner and of course Christmas is close behind.  And since that is our reality, Advent planning needs to begin (if it hasn’t already).

I haven’t done an Advent sermon series since 2005 when I preached a series on 1 Peter (something I came across in some publication).  This year…my series is a little different.  The title of the series is “The Spirit of Christmas” with the following sermons topics:  “The Spirit of Hope”, “The Spirit of Life”, “The Spirit of Peace”, “The Spirit of Sharing” and ending on Christmas Eve with “The Spirit of Love”.  This idea came from a Hanging of the Greens worship service we are doing on Nov. 30; a service I found in a Hanging of the Greens book.

Each Christmas season, one of the things that really gets me going is seeing people totally miss the true spirit of Christmas.  It seems that with each passing year, Christmas becomes more and more commercialized (if that is even possible).  Each year I feel moved to submit a letter to the editor in our local newspaper to remind people of the true meaning of Christmas.  Each year I hear stories of how businesses and retail stores tell their employees that they can’t say “Merry Christmas” to the customers.  Heaven forbid if we offend anyone with those words.  So this sermon series really speaks to me and hopefully it will speak to others as well.

I haven’t totally thought out the scripture references for each theme (maybe you have some ideas for me), but hopefully I will have that done within the next week.  I am thinking a one day retreat away from my office might be in order.

In any case…I wanted to through this out to you and see what you think.  Is anyone else doing a Advent/Christmas sermon series?  Have you ever done one before?

God’s blessings to you as you prepare for the Christmas season.

-edh-

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One response to “The Spirit of Christmas

  1. Hey there,

    Something funny is happening with your comment field. It is showing up not at the bottom of your post, but way down at the bottom of the left hand column, under the “ClustrMaps” image. What’s up with that?

    Anyway . . . With all the emphasis that Christmas gets – Santa is already in our local mall – I would ask how we preachers can lift up the unique Advent themes of hopeful waiting, anticipation, keeping watch . . . not just for Christmas, but for Christ to come into our lives and world anew – every day, and at the promised return (“thy Kingdom come,” and “he will come again to judge the living and the dead”).

    We Christians live in a time of Advent, a time of waiting for our Lord to return. Since this waiting is built into the Advent season’s lectionary and tradition, I would err on the side of sticking with the lectionary and proclaiming the period of hopeful and expectant waiting for the Lord. Frankly, I find Advent themes more interesting and theologically poignant than Christmas themes . . . but that’s just me.