An outstanding writer and preacher shares with readers a different approach to the season: four verse sermons on characters from the Christmas narrative (Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men), each accompanied by a chapter providing relevant background material on the featured character. It's an intriguing combination that lends itself equally well to preaching or to Bible studies -- for example, you can build a four-week Advent program around the poems. And there are four suggested orders of service provided that emphasize the message of the sermons. In a "lessons and carols" format, they're perfect for Christmas Eve -- but they also work well for Advent gatherings or potluck dinners. You'll find a variety of ways to use these creative and thoughtful meditations that portray familiar characters in a fresh, new way.
"Carter's sermons are an eruption of ingenious images, powerful experiences, and inventive connections. The result of interplay between creativity and fidelity, they are a splash of wildflowers growing in rich and loamy soil."
Thomas G. Long
Bandy Professor of Preaching
Candler School of Theology, Emory University
"I appreciated your last book of sermons. Iola and I have been reading the chapters as we travel on the road. They give us great comfort and inspiration. Thanks "
"Here's a preacher who knows how to swing, and a musician who says something every time he plays."
Eugene L. Lowry
McElvaney Professor Emeritus of Preaching
St. Paul School of Theology
"This preacher is about as creative as they come."
Thomas H. Troeger
Peck Professor of Preaching and Communication
Iliff School of Theology
The senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, William G. Carter has received national recognition for his preaching and writing, with sermons and articles appearing in "Journal for Preachers," "Presbyterian Survey," "Preaching," "Lectionary Homiletics," "The Christian Ministry," and "Best Sermons 7." In 1999 and 2000, he was selected to preach on "The Protestant Hour," an international radio ministry that reaches over two million listeners each week. He frequently leads workshops for pastors on homiletical themes and practices. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and the State University of New York at Binghamton (B.A.), Rev. Carter is also a highly regarded jazz pianist, composer, and arranger who has studied and performed with such noted artists as Dave Brubeck, Phil Woods, and Bob Brookmeyer. He is the pianist and leader of the Presbybop Quartet, which has recorded two CDs of original material plus jazz versions of favorite hymns. Carter has traveled widely presenting contemporary worship services and frequently weaves his music into his ministry. This is his fourth CSS book.