While I worked on the past month's Stewardship sermon series, it really gave me a lot of inspiration and a drive to do more sermon series. They are very popular at other churches, and I feel like it gives you something to look forward to each wee--similar to the feeling of waiting for the new episode of your favorite TV show to air. With this in mind, I discovered a book that helps pastors with series based on the traditional Revised Common Lectionary that we read from each Sunday morning in worship.
As of the first Sunday of Advent on December 1st, I will be trying out these new sermon series this lectionary year. My hope by doing this it that throughout each of the church seasons you can encounter more consistency and cohesiveness between what the season stands for and what the readings examine. I should mention that I won't always preach from the Gospel reading like I have been since I started at the congregations; but I'm really excited about this new preaching endeavor, and I hope that you also will find usefulness and inspiration from this trial.
To get us started this Advent we will enter into a sermon series called "A Geography of Salvation." For six weeks we will encounter the path to Bethlehem with landmarks from the book of Isaiah. The Scriptures that help us prepare for the birth of Jesus Christ are filled with places- holy places, hard places, and the pathways in between. Together, these places present a "geography of salvation"- a map of the heights and depths our good God will go to bring us home. Throughout the weeks of Advent, we will "visit" some of these sacred locales. Along the way we'll learn that we can meet God on the mountaintop--but that God also draws near to wherever it is we find ourselves.
As we prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ child, may we be reminded through this season of Advent just how far God went to show us of God's love. The act of becoming Emmanuel--God With Us--was miraculous and meaningful. Let us take the time to journey to Bethlehem to greet God come to earth.