Friday, December 05, 2014

Sermon of the Week (11/30 - 12/6, 2014) Dr. Bill Henard "The Songs of Christmas: Ave Maria"

I'm going to stick with the Advent/Christmas theme today.
I am a former member of Porter Memorial Baptist and have been listening to Dr. Henard's sermons for years. Of all the preachers on my list on the right, Dr. Henard quotes the most from outside resources-- commentaries, opinion polls, periodicals, etc. (I think his use of these have grown with technology, he's also one of the few I know who also relies on his iPad both for his notes and screen projection.) He is doing a series on the songs of Christmas. The first song he examines is Ave Maria (Hail Mary). I don't know that I've heard Ave Maria in a Baptist church (even at Christmas) but it's what he looks at. Despite the obvious clash with protestantism, the tone is not critical. 
"Within the biblical story, God reveals songs of celebration that were shared by those who experienced the birth of our Savior. This first song celebrates the announcement of Christ’s birth. When we experience the birth of our Savior, it brings great blessing to our lives. Here’s how."

Henard uses the song both to retell the birth narrative and the Gospel. I liked the sermon because in the second half he provides a defense of the virgin birth and its importance in the entire Gospel narrative. He also plainly states that several Catholic views on Mary are wrong.

In all, I've never heard a sermon series on Christmas songs so this got points for being unique. I look forward to the rest of the series. 

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