An Advent Sermon and a Christmas Season Song Service

I suppose I’ll see how this goes when I step up to the plate this morning.

I always preach the lectionary–it keeps me honest, meaning that I sometimes have to deal with texts that aren’t necessarily my speed.  I can’t pick what comes up on the week I’m pulpit-filling, and sometimes I end up preaching texts that make me quite a bit uncomfortable, and when I’m at my best, I can turn that dynamic into a genuine teaching moment.  I do generally pick from the four available texts (usually, as this morning, I end up preaching the Old Testament selection, partly because my background is mainly in Old Testament and partly because churches often neglect the OT), but sometimes I even get brave enough to pick the hardest of the four to preach.

One thing about the lectionaries I use (the ones from textweek.com, usually the Revised Common Lectionary) is that they don’t care a whit for what’s on the radio that week.  I fear that the lectionary’s apathy is going to bite me in the behind, as I overheard Mark and Tiena Thacker (our church’s wonderful worship team leaders) saying that the song service today is going to be mostly Christmas tunes.

That wouldn’t be a problem (though I’m not a huge fan of Christmas radio music), except that Christmas tunes tend to be happy and chirpy and the Christian season of Advent is not.  Advent is when the lectionary calls on preachers to tell the congregation about Isaiah and apocalypse and John the Baptist and judgment day.  The two just don’t match that well.  I’m going to be preaching an Isaiah text calling on God to come and end the darkness, and to warm up for that I can only hope we’re singing the soberest Christmas songs anyone’s written.  No, I think I’m going to be the one dark cloud of Advent on a sunny Christmas season morning.  Bummer.

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