This past year, I taught an adult Sunday School class between Thanksgiving and Christmas, facing a dilemma surely common to teachers and preachers for centuries. Advent is so steeped in tradition, so well-worn, that our ears and minds are dulled to its message. What is left to say, and how can it be said in a way to recapture our attention and imagination?
Enter Doug Jackson, like a gust of Gulf Coast wind. His unique perspective and unusual metaphors – ‘When the circle of life seems to swirl around a sucking shower drain Advent is the dopamine season that orders us to hope’ and ‘For (John the Baptist) the plane was going down and what mattered was not a PhD in parachute design but where to grab the ripcord,’ for example – offer fresh ways to look at the familiar story and perhaps see something in it that we hadn’t noticed before.
The reflections collected here are quite short but pack a substantial punch. Each is complete in itself, but contains more than enough thought-provoking material to fuel a meaningful discussion or to build a riveting sermon or lesson around. I highly recommend this resource, available from bluetruckpublising.com as ‘Advent Sermon Starters – Year C,’ not only for pastors but also for teachers and small group facilitators.