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The flow of the Advent season plays out like a movie. We get a hint of the highlights of the Christmas story in Advent 1, where we are invited to stay tuned to what is to come. Through the life and actions of John the Baptist, the scene and life of Jesus Christ is set up, as we are drawn in to remember the meaning of baptism and our own wilderness experience. The suspense heightens in the middle of the Advent season as we witness through the lives of Elizabeth and Mary that nothing is impossible for God. All this builds up to the climax of the Christmas story, where the Christ child is born, but not in a way that we expect. The plot twists and ends in a cliffhanger that invites us to wonder how we are called to participate in the story.

Advent1 Stay Tuned! Mark 13:24-37 Something big is coming- watch and wait!
Advent2 Limitations of a Baptist Mark 1:1-8 John the Baptist’s limitations set him up to play an important role in Jesus’ story.
Advent3 John, the Doppelganger John 1:6-8, 19-28 The juxtaposition of John and Jesus shows us who our main character really is.
Advent4 The Subjunctive Space Luke 1:26-38 Plot twist! Elizabeth and Mary see the possibilities of what God can do.
Christmas Eve1 The Foggy Fringe Luke 2:1-14, (15-20) A different perspective helps us see the main event in all its glory.

A Preacher’s Guide to Lectionary Sermon Series by Amy Butler