Monday, December 08, 2008

Second Monday of Advent

I've been really self-conscious about my preaching the past month or so. I just think I've come across as pretty grumpy. A few weeks ago, for instance, I ragged on the Left Behind series three or four times in a sermon. And yesterday, I start in by talking about war, the "protect Christmas" crowd, and the Black Friday Wal-Mart incident as examples of what we're NOT preparing for during Advent.

Now, some may only see this as attempting to disabuse people of bad theology or faulty attitudes about what Christmas is really supposed to be about. And that's what these sermons ultimately set out to do. But while writing them and practicing them, it just feels like I've been grumpy.

Grumpiness is good sometimes. Grumpiness can fuel these messages with the correct amount of passion. "Righteous anger," if you will. I think that for me, I'm just disturbed by the amount of grumpiness that I've been experiencing about this stuff lately, and how much I've been letting loose about it. This could be a complete overreaction, as it is only two sermons I'm worried about, and they've been timely (in my opinion) to boot.

It's also the grumpiness that inspired me to pick up a stack of theology books from Amazon the other week. I've been craving responsible theology; an immersion in some of the great thinkers and in-depth critiques and counters to prevailing mainstream thought. I get plenty of that on blogs, but I wanted books. So I got me some books.

Moltmann is incredible, by the way. He's exactly what I needed.

So this is about Advent, right? Okay, Advent.

Yesterday was a pretty scant crowd. It was a snowy morning, the church is in a rural setting and we have a decent amount of older folks. Those factors together made for a light attendance sort of day. There wasn't much else notable about the service, save that I could hear Coffeeson making little contented noises during quieter moments.

Funny story on that note. In the nursery Sunday School class, the teacher asked what Mary and Joseph named their baby, and one of the kids answered with Coffeeson's name. I thought that was pretty cute.

Next Sunday evening is Blue Christmas. I'm sure I'll have something to write about for that.