I'm used to hearing and seeing certain things this time of year at church. The Christmas songs are back. There are Advent candles burning bright. And there's a sermon series that's looking at the problems with the world. Wait...that last one is something I was not expecting.
Most of the sermons I usually hear this time of year are based on hope and the story of Jesus' birth. But this year, my pastor is taking a look back at some of the big stories of 2008. "God's Editorial" is not a new idea for an end of the year sermon series. Other churches have done it I suspect, but it's a first for me. Week one focused on the economic crisis. Last week was a look at the mess our political system is in thanks to growing egos and the increasing corruption of many politicians. (As an Illinois resident, I'm definitely seeing this one thanks to the whole Rod Blagojevich scandal).
My pastor admits, these are tough, heavy and discouraging issues. Yet despite that, to my surprise, I've left each Sunday feeling encouraged. I think my pastor summed it up best this weekend when he said with all of the craziness in world, there's no better time than now to refocus on the manger. Isn't that so true? When we put our complete faith in Jesus, does the rest of the world's uncertainty really matter? In all of the doom and gloom people see right now, wouldn't it be nice to show the love and stability of Jesus shining through?
So I'm curious, what have your Advent sermons been like? Have they been typical or different? I've found a definite Christmas spirit this year in a way I never thought it would be delivered. How about you?