We are a people of story. We love stories, we come from stories, and our lives create stories every day. And yet, as people of faith we, in many respects, are losing our connection to the stories that define our faith. Not that we don’t know them, but we tend to look at them as nice stories that we love and enjoy, but don’t really impact our lives on a daily basis. But that isn’t how the stories of our faith are meant to be used and understood.
The stories of the Christian faith sometimes feel and sound like a beloved fairy tale, or the story that your grandfather tells every Christmas. And at no time of year is this more true than at Christmas. But the stories of Christmas are more than fairy tales, because they are True Stories. They contain elements of the fantastic and the miraculous, but that doesn’t make them any less true.
When we take the time to connect our present-day faith to the beautiful, beloved ancient stories of our faith, we begin to recognize our place in the larger Story of God’s great plan of redemption. The meaning and purpose for which we all yearn and hope begins to come into focus.
Through this three sermon series, preached during Advent in 2011, we will attempt to explore the Stories of Christmas, beginning with a look at the words of one of the Old Testament prophets, Isaiah, and the story he told of what the coming of the Messiah would look like. We then move to the story of the shepherds from Luke 2, and finally wrap up with the story of the Christ, the Messiah. These sermons coordinated with the Lighting of the Advent Candles each week. As I only preached two of the Sundays in Advent this year, the stories of Bethlehem and the Angels were only highlighted in the final sermon.
As you read these stories, it is my prayer that you would see the place God has for you in his continuing story of redemption, hope and love.
Rev. David Garrison
January 3, 2012