"A history professor told me that the earliest Protestants in America discouraged the celebration of Christmas. "It's too much fun," the Puritans reasoned, "and the Gospel of Jesus Christ requires our utmost seriousness.""
-- from the Introduction
At a time of year which is often as stressful and exhausting as it is exhilarating, William Carter reminds us that while holiday celebrations will fade into winter gloom, Jesus Christ, the light that casts no shadow, remains at the center of our faith and lives. This collection of seventeen sermons based on the Revised Common Lectionary is for readers who wish to take the gospel seriously during a season when commercialism and social activities can be overwhelming.
Carter's messages provide a wonderful interplay between the biblical text and illustrations drawn from contemporary life. He brings the sensibilities of an accomplished jazz musician to the lectionary readings, creating new melodies that arise from the established material -- some in counterpoint to the scripture, others elaborating upon the original tune. The sermons of this outstanding preacher are inspiring reading for both clergy and laypeople
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, 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, Carter serves on the seminary's board of trustees. Reverend Carter is also a highly regarded jazz pianist who has studied and performed with such noted artists as Phil Woods and Bob Brookmeyer. He has traveled widely presenting contemporary worship services and frequently weaves his music into his ministry.