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Advent commences the new year in the liturgical worship tradition, not Jan. 1. Advent, which is Latin for “coming” or “arrival,” is the four-week period leading up to Christmas. It begins in late November or early December and culminates on Christmas morning. According to the Catholic News Agency, several fifth century writings urged worshippers to […] Read More

Visiting the local Wal-Mart several weeks ago, I noticed Christmas trees and other holiday decorations already on the shelves. These items were not spread throughout the store as they will be soon, but it is noteworthy that the decorations seem to appear earlier and earlier each year. For those who like to plan ahead, the […] Read More

Precious Gifts

A sermon by David Hughes, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Winston Salem, N.C. December 23 2012  Micah 5:2-5a; Philippians 4:4-7 Mother Teresa tells the story of being chastised by a fellow nun once as she ministered to people in Bangalore, India.   “Mother Teresa,” scolded the nun, “You are spoiling the poor people by giving them things […] Read More

Tender Mercies

A sermon by David Hughes, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Winston Salem, N.C. December 9, 2012 Luke 1:57-80 Several days ago I made my annual trip up to our attic to bring down our Christmas decorations.  In our house that means walking down two flights of steps, and it also means I get to complain about […] Read More

Keep Calm and Carry On

A sermon by David Hughes, Pastor First Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, N.C. December 2, 2012 Luke 21:25-36                        The summer of 1939 was a very scary time for Great Britain.  Nazi Germany was preparing to invade a number of European countries, including Britain, to extend its empire.  Just before the outbreak of World War 2, the British […] Read More

Having been raised in a non-liturgical Baptist church, the liturgical worship calendar, with its seasons and emphases, was not only unobserved but also unknown. I remember learning about Hanukkah at some point in my upbringing, but I cannot recall hearing about, much less participating in, seasons of the Christian church’s worship life other than Christmas, […] Read More

A sermon delivered by Jim Somerville, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Richmond, Va., on December 30, 2012. The First Sunday after Christmas Day Colossians 3:12-17 Well, here we are on the first Sunday after Christmas Day.  I’m happy to see you, and this year more than most.  If you were here during the season of Advent […] Read More

God With Us: Absurdity

A sermon delivered by Randy Hyde, Pastor, Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark., on December 23, 2012. Fourth Sunday in Advent Micah 5:2-5a; Luke 1:39-55 If you are familiar at all with Jesus’ ministry, and the message he brought to the people whom he encountered, then you are aware of how subversive he really […] Read More

A sermon delivered by Joel Snider, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Rome, Ga., on December 23, 2012. Luke 9:23-27 Meditation Text: If you are uncertain of which of two paths to take, choose the one on which the shadow of the cross falls.                     –from Hugh Walpole, A Biography by Rupert Hart-Davis Morning […] Read More

Editor’s note: This column is the fourth part of a four-part Advent/Christmas series from the Gospel of Mark on waiting, hearing, repenting and believing. Read part one here, part two here and part three here. The biblical stories are replete with calls to believe and people who choose to believe or not to believe in […] Read More