Christmas Inside Out is our theme this Advent season. Advent isn’t just a season for looking inward as we prepare ourselves to receive anew the One whose birth we prepare to celebrate. It is also a time to turn from the inside out. It is a time to get outside of ourselves — outside of our own concerns. This turning inside out is the theme for much of what we are doing during these weeks leading up to Christmas. In our sanctuary worship I’ll continue my series of sermons looking at moving from the inside out.
This past Sunday we considered what it means to look deeply at the symbolism of the trappings of Christmas and then turn those inside out. What does it mean to move outside of the trappings of the season?
This Sunday, December 8, we’ll see that the first Christmas itself turned the predictable and expected inside out. How can we experience today the unexpected and unpredictable nature of what God is up to?
Here is what is coming up in the sermons during the rest of Advent as we continue to look at Christmas inside out:
December 15 – “Outside the Walls”
December 22 – “Outside the Holidays”
Christmas Eve – “Outside of Heaven”
I encourage you to read the scripture reading for Sunday as you prepare to worship. It is a portion of the Christmas story found in Luke 2:1-20. As you read it, think about what stands out for you? Now read it a second time, and ask, “If I had never read this or heard this before, what would be unexpected or surprising? What would I have never predicted?” As you read it a third time, ask, “Am I able to see in the seasons of Advent and Christmas and in the story of Jesus’ birth only what I expect? What would it mean to observe this season outside of the expected and predictable?”
I look forward to Sunday as we continue to walk together on our faith journey through Advent to Christmas and beyond.
Grace and Peace,