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.