For many churches, it’s time to think about the Advent/Christmas season. Maybe you’ve already started. Maybe you’re dealing with serious questions, like…should I ask N to light the Advent wreath after he/she almost burned the church down last year? Or perhaps…is there a reason why the congregation mouths the sermons I’m preaching, they are after all the same ones I’ve been doing for the last several years.
Seriously, the Advent/Christmas season is a great season not only to celebrate the incarnation and birth of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but also to present the Gospel to people who normally don’t darken the doors of your church. But how to do so on a path so well worn and trod?
One way is to use the Biblical story of the coming of Our Lord as a way to illustrate various parts of the Christian life. That was done masterfully by the French bishop Jaques Bénigne Bossuet in his Elevations on the Mysteries. I have spent the last seven years (off and on, mostly off) translating this work into English, and it’s now translated and being posted. The “Advent/Christmas” parts that are completely posted are as follows:
- On the coming of St. John the Baptist, Forerunner of Jesus Christ
- Elevations on the Conception of the Word
- Elevations on the effects which the Incarnate Word produces on men immediately after his Incarnation
- Elevations on the Birth of the Holy Forerunner
- Elevations on the Birth of Jesus Christ
- Continuation on the Mysteries of the Childhood of Jesus Christ (which includes the whole business of the coming of the Magi)
Currently coming out twice a week are the elevations on “The Presentation of Jesus Christ in the Temple, and the Purification of the Holy Virgin.” These should be done by Christmas; if you’re interested, you can subscribe to the blog for these and the rest of the elevations that are to be posted.
I trust these are a blessing and useful to you.