In an article for the Preaching Today newsletter, Peter Chin writes: “We all know Jesus taught His disciples about the kingdom of God, but sometimes we forget that no one except Christ Himself ever had seen the divine and eternal reality. As such, the kingdom was a very distant concept for the disciples, if not an entirely confounding one.

"To address this, Jesus described the kingdom of God using everyday examples of life, or parables that were designed to connect with everyday experiences such as feasting, living within family, finding a fortune. This allowed people to place themselves and their own experiences into the context of that parable, so the kingdom might be more tangible and less removed than it might have been otherwise.

"Place yourself in the story. This basic principle has helped me on multiple occasions to see the story of Advent with fresh eyes. Whenever I feel distant or removed from Christmas, I place myself in the Advent story and try to pay special attention to how I would have responded or the ways in which that story mirrors my own life and reality. Of course, every sermon should start with solid exegesis, but this principle adds another step as you prepare your sermon: Rather than reading Advent as something that happened to other people a long time ago, I think about Advent as if it happened to me recently.” Read the full article.

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