This coming Sunday is the beginning of the Advent Season. I like Advent. It’s a season designed to help Christians get ready for the celebration of Christmas. The idea behind it is simple: Christmas is more meaningful if we journey toward it rather than helicoptering straight down to it on December 25. Advent is also an invitation, an invitation to celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday with religious meaning and religious implication and religious ritual.
I’m especially looking forward to Advent this year at First Church because, in addition to amazing music, interesting Bible readings and a beautifully decorated cathedral, we’re going to explore one of the most cherished holiday stories ever written — A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. In each of my sermons during the month of December I’ll include a literary connection to this inspiring story.
As a special opportunity, we’ll have a dramatic telling of A Christmas Carol in our service of worship on December 9 by David Mellville, one of the most creative actors working in America today. (This opportunity has been made possible by a generous donation from my friend, Scott Carter. Thank you!)
My sermon series will unfold as follows . . .
December 2 — “I Wear the Chain I Forged in Life”
December 9 — Performance of A Christmas Carol by David Mellville
December 16 — “I’m Light as a Feather”
December 23 — “I Will Honor Christmas in My Heart”
December 24 — “Darkness Was Cheap” (Three Services at 5 pm, 8 pm and 11 pm)
December 30 — “God Bless Us Everyone!”
I really hope you’ll make a commitment to be in worship each week during the month of December. Bring a friends and family. It’s going to be an amazing month at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. Take a Post-Thanksgiving Breath. The season of Advent is upon us, and truly, it’s a season like no other.