Getting Ready for Sunday November 29th at The Crossing

Prepare

How do you get ready for Christmas? We tend to think the Christmas season proper starts with Black Friday. We mark the four weeks leading up to Dec. 25 as a time for shopping, parties, and baking. It’s frenetic and fun (and not a little stressful). That’s how we get ready for Christmas.

But Christians through the centuries have gotten ready for Christmas differently. This Sunday is the first Sunday in Advent. Advent is a time of waiting, of longing. It’s supposed to cultivate dissatisfaction, but not a consumer dissatisfaction that lacks the latest, greatest gadgets. It’s the deeper dissatisfaction with a world of sin and brokenness, with the darkness in us. It’s the longing for the light to come shine in our midst and change us.

Perhaps as you start to get ready for Christmas this year, take some time to reflect on Advent and how you can get ready in that deeper way for the coming of the Christ. Some suggestions could include:

  • Maybe for your holiday music selection, alongside “Grandma Got Run Over by a Raindeer,” mix in regularly some of the Advent songs we’ll be doing. Or you can get an album like Waiting Songs by Rain for Roots (includes Sandra McCracken), a great collection of songs for the whole family to help us wait well.
  • You can do an Advent devotional. We might think of that for the whole family, like the Crossing Kids devotional, but it can be for adults too. The Village Church has a great Advent devotional from a few years ago that includes personal, group, and family sections.
  • You can really go out on a limb and consider ways of fasting in preparation. That’s an ancient church tradition that has real contemporary relevance. You can read here a thought-provoking article along those lines.
  • And you can join us each Sunday in Advent as we worship to point ourselves to wait for the Christ who has come and will come again.

This week Charles Anderson continues our sermon series in the Gospel of John with a sermon entitled, “Take My Word for It,” from John 4:43–54. The Scripture reads,

43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.

46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”

53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.

54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.

Here’s our song list for this Sunday (with links to lyrics and music)

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel [lyrics; listen] – words by unknown Latin author; translated by John M. Neale; arranged by The Sing Team

This is the Christ (lyrics; listen) – words by Martin Luther; music by Sandra McCracken

The Church Has Waited Long [lyrics; listen] – words by Horatius Bonar; music by Scott Johnson

We Will Feast in the House of Zion [lyrics and listen] – Sandra McCracken

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery [lyrics and listen] – Matt Papa, Matt Boswell, and Michael Bleeker

See you on Sunday!

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