The ongoing uncertainty and malaise caused by the COVID pandemic has once again inspired a lot of people to ramp up their Christmas celebrations earlier than usual; and everywhere you look, people are starting to get ready for the holidays. Stores are filled with shoppers in search of pre-Christmas bargains; Christmas lights brighten the evening sky; and Christmas trees can be seen standing in the front window of people’s homes. The 4 weeks leading up to Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, as people frantically prepare themselves for the holidays. And despite the back drop of a global pandemic, I suspect this year will be no different. Indeed, if anything, the darkness of the past 18+ months has created in many people an even greater desire for the light.

However, Advent calls us to a very different kind of preparation. Henri Nouwen writes; “Once I am truly convinced that preparing the heart is more important than preparing the Christmas tree, I will be a lot less frustrated at the end of the day.”  As Nouwen suggests, Advent isn’t really about preparing our homes, but our hearts. This is good advice for us as we continue our Advent journey this morning.

This time of year is not only a season of preparation, but also of questions: What do you want for Christmas? Have you been a good by or girl? How will you be spending the holidays? Have you got all your shopping done? Will you be seeing family this year? As important as these questions may be, they’re not the kind of questions that we’re primarily called to ask during Advent and Christmas. This time of year calls us to search our hearts and ask the deeper questions of life. And the implications of the answers to these questions go beyond the 4 weeks of Advent and 12 days of Christmas, but rather extend into eternity.

This four-wee series will look at at the crucial questions asked by characters in the Christmas story–questions that challenged their faith and determined their destiny. Questions that ultimately reveal something about the One whom we watch and wait for this Advent/Christmas season.


Sermon:  “Isaiah:  How Can I Have Faith When All Hope Seems Lost?”

Preacher:  The Rev. Canon Christopher Doering

Date: Advent Sunday ~ Sunday, November 28, 2021

Scripture:  Isaiah 9:1-7

Handout:  Part1. HO

Sermon:  “Zechariah: How Can I Be Sure?”

Preacher:  The Rev. Canon Christopher Doering

Date:  The 2nd Sunday of Advent ~ Sunday, December 5, 2021

Scripture:  Luke 1:5-23

Handout:  Part 2. HO

Sermon:  “Mary: Will I Accept God’s Plan For My Life?”

Preacher:  The Rev. Canon Christopher Doering

Date:  The Third Sunday of Advent ~ Sunday, December 12, 2021

Scripture:  Luke 1:26-38

Handout:  Part 3. HO

Sermon:  “Joseph: Will I Obey God Even When It Doesn’t Make Sense??”

Preacher:  The Rev. Canon Christopher Doering

Date:  The Fourth Sunday of Advent ~ Sunday, December 19, 2021

Scripture:  Matthew 1:18-25

Handout:  Part 4. HO