by Rick Lowery
This course takes an in-depth look at this year's lectionary texts for Advent from the Hebrew Bible and asks how they relate to the gospel texts from Luke. Lectures provide an overview of the historical context of the biblical passages and some of the cultural and economic influences that shaped them. Conversations explore sermon ideas and how the biblical texts relate to the weekly themes of Advent. Rick Lowery provides social-historical, literary, and theological commentary and talks with experienced Indianapolis pastor Linda McCrae about how these texts speak to the church as it engages its mission of justice, healing, and reconciliation today.
Click here to see the course video trailer/sample.
Whether new to the task of preaching – in which you immerse yourself in the Scripture, the historical context, the commentaries, and your own experience – as you prepare to “Proclaim the Gospel” -- or seasoned in the preparation and delivery of sermons, you will not want to miss the latest course offered by Christian College of Georgia.
It is time to prepare for the Advent Season: “The liturgical season of Advent celebrates Christ’s vision of the Kingdom of God erupting in our very midst. It prepares us and calls us to recognize the signs of God’s in-breaking reign of justice and peace in this broken and confused world.” (Dr. Rick Lowery, Professor for this Distance Education Class).
If that summary alone does not sufficiently capture your curiosity, your commitment to lead, and your compassion for God’s creation and creatures, then take a look at what this course will provide as you prepare for the preaching opportunities of Advent this year.
The course consists of five 40-minute video-on-demand sessions and five one-hour live, interactive sessions with one of Disciples’ best and brightest, Dr. Rick Lowery, will provide the essential background information for the homilist to immerse herself in the realities of the Biblical world, gaining new awareness of the vicissitudes of life in the Roman world. Your mind will wind its way through the conspicuous comparisons to the Twenty-first Century, and you will not escape the almost instantaneous illustrations that confront you as you “soak” in the sights and sounds and symbols of your daily life – truly the crucible of preparation for proclamation.
Then, you will embark on a journey through the lectionary that will point you, through four one-hour sessions, to each of the Sundays of the Advent Season. Not surprisingly, you will find yourself making notes you may never bring to your sermon manuscript or outline. But your own spiritual journey will be enriched, nevertheless, and you will be ready to stand and deliver on December 2, 9, 16, and 23, with confidence and enthusiasm.
If you are new to the discipline of homiletics, you will soon see that this course – whether taken for Advent or as a way of developing the standard competencies for ministry as your prepare your portfolio for your Commission on Ministry or to have a trusted guide as you prepare for your first Advent preaching series – is precisely what you need for exposure to the process of spiritual and intellectual preparation for the liturgical year.
If you are not new to the privilege (or the task) of preaching, you will find that there is no substitute for fresh insights from a Disciples Scholar who will assist you in grounding yourself in the best practices for preparation to proclaim the prophetic texts for Advent. Take the course alone, or share it with your colleagues in your Advent discussion groups. Your life and ministry will be enriched by the experience.