We at The Pastor’s Workshop know what it is like to sit in the sermon saddle! We have walked in your shoes. We know what is helpful to us when preparing a series and want to share that with you. It is our prayer that this Advent Preaching Guide may be a blessing for you in that process.
Whether you utilize it as a guide to your own preaching or a devotional aid in your reflection on Advent, know that we are rooting for you and trust that God will use you to speak words of comfort and encouragement to his people during this season.
I will be preaching right alongside you in this series, and I look forward to seeing how you and your congregation are blessed by these passages.
Austin D. Hill
- Exegesis of Text Through AIM Methodology
- Key Quote
- Key Illustration (and comment)
- More Illustration and Quote Themes
- Liturgical Elements
A Word About the Series
Advent marks the beginning of the Christian year. In this season, we wait in hope for the coming of the Messiah. We recognize that not all is as it should be. While this is the case every year, this feels especially true in 2021. For many, the fall was to be a time of triumphal return to what was. A vaccine readily available to people in the West, normal life could resume again. However, society, and especially the church, has been irrevocably changed by the events of 2020 and 2021. Many are tired, grieved, and burnt out.
In his remarks from the Feasting on the Word commentary, Gary W. Charles says, “The stories of Advent are dug from the harsh soil of human struggle and the littered landscape of dashed dreams. They are told from the vista where sin still reigns supreme and hope has gone on vacation.”[i] So the themes explored in Advent are especially poignant for us this fall. We pray these resources will help you invite your faith communities to wait in hope for the Lord. May you see and help others see that Jesus, our Messiah, is still the hope of the world.
[i] Gary W. Charles, in Feasting on the Word Year C, Volume 1, ed. David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), 3.
The Method of this Advent Series
The Advent series we have provided follows the Revised Common Lectionary, Year B. It is meant to be a reflective guide for you in your preaching preparation for Advent. The series provides you with the collection of lectionary texts for each Sunday of Advent, and highlights a central text for preaching. We provide a set of lenses for looking at each highlighted text that focuses on the AIM of the text. AIM stands for Ancient context, the text through the lens of Jesus (Ἰησοῦς), and our Modern application.
We think that understanding the Ancient or original context of the passage is necessary to inform and guide our interpretation of its theme. We also believe along with the Reformers that the interpretation of the Ancient context of the Hebrew scripture for the church necessarily flows through its Lord, Jesus Christ. Furthermore, we affirm that the role of the preacher’s AIM is to bring the congregation from the Ancient through Christ and to the Modern context, making the message real in our hearts and lives. In addition, we will resource you with themes and ideas for preaching for each highlighted text, including referenced illustrations, and quotes from The Pastor’s Workshop library.