Songs and Scenes: The Third Sunday in Advent 2015

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December 13th is the third Sunday of Advent 2015. Advent (which means “coming” or “arrival”) is a season where the church remembers Christ’s first coming and anticipates his promised return It is a season characterized by prayer, quiet waiting and joyful expectation.

Sojourn Community Church Worship Pastor, Mike Cosper wrote, “Advent should be dark and tense. The world desperately needs a Savior, and in Advent we should feel the weight of that longing.” Today’s liturgy gave voice to that longing. In our gathering we cried out for Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, to break into the darkness of this broken world and make all things new.

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1. Gathering Instrumental: O Come, O Come Emmanuel – arranged by Isaac Wardell

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2. Call to worship: Based on Isaiah 40:1-2, 3-6

“Comfort, comfort my people,”
says your God.
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.
Tell her that her sad days are gone
and her sins are pardoned.

Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,
“Clear the way through the wilderness
for the Lord!
Make a straight highway through the wasteland
for our God!
Fill in the valleys,
and level the mountains and hills.
Straighten the curves,
and smooth out the rough places.
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
The Lord has spoken!”

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3. O Come, O Come Emmanuel – LM 88 88 (Veni Emmanuel), Words: Latin (12th century), Tune: “Processionale” (15th century), Adaptation: Thomas Helmore (1854), Adapted from an arrangement by Matthew Smith

O come, Desire of nations, bind
all peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

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4. Savior of the Nations, Come – Words: Ambrose (4th Century), Martin Luther (1523), Traditional: Calvin Seerveld (1984), Music: Enchiridia, Erfurt (1524), Arr. Bruce Benedict (2009)

Bruce Benedict (who adapted “Savior of the Nations, Come”) gives insight into the hymn’s history and meaning in his blog, Cardiphonia.

“Savior of the Nations, Come is a fairly obscure but ancient hymn that beautifully reflects the themes of advent as well as reinforcing the tenants of the Apostles Creed, the humility of Christ (Phil 2), His Intercession, and the gloried anticipation of his expected return.”

Savior of the nations, come;
Virgin’s Son, here make Thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

Christ in glory intercede
For your creatures’ suffering need.
Let your resurrecting power
soon complete the victory hour.

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5. Prayer of Confession (Based on Psalm 40)

O God, You give us your good news and
call us into a new covenant relationship with you.
Help us to prepare the way of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let the valleys be lifted up!
Draw us away from degrading thoughts and actions and
lift from us anxiety and worry.

Through humble people, prepare your world, O God.
Let the mountains be leveled off!
End our pride and save us from false hope and unbelief.

Through faithful people, prepare your world, O God.
Let the crooked be made straight!
Forgive our sin, defeat evil, and overcome the power of death.

Through saved people, prepare your world, O God.
Let the rough be made smooth!
Help us grow in understanding, and
give us wisdom to discern that which is good and true.

Through your people sanctified, made holy, in Christ
prepare your world, O God.
Let all people see the salvation of our God.
Redeem your world, and make all things new.
Save us and sanctify us, O God.
For the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

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6. This is The Christ – Words: Martin Luther (1535), Translation: Catherine Winkworth (1855), Music: Sandra McCracken

Good news from heav’n the angels bring
Glad tidings to the earth they sing:
To us this day a child is giv’n,
To crown us with the joy of heav’n.

This is the Christ, our God and Lord,
Who in all need shall aid afford;
He will Himself our Saviour be,
From all our sins to set us free.

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7. Assurance and Passing of the Peace: Based on Psalm 40 (from the Worship Sourcebook)

Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God.
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.
Tell her that her sad days are gone and
her sins are pardoned.”

Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace,
whose coming we announce in this season,
is our righteousness.

Let the earth ring with song.
Let the light break forth.
Let us all rejoice in the miracle of love.
Let Christ come into the fullness of our time. Amen!

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8. Joy to the World – Words: Isaac Watts (1719) (based on Psalm 98), Music: ANTIOCH C.M.rep. George Frederick Handel (1742), Arr. Lowell Mason (1836), Based on an arrangement by Red Mountain Music

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

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10. God With Us by Jason Ingram and Leslie Jordan

Oh You’ve come to bring peace to be Love
To be nearer to us
You’ve come to bring life to be Light
To shine brighter in us
Oh Emmanuel, God with us

Our Deliverer You are Savior
In Your presence we find our strength
Over ev’rything our Redemption
God with us, You are God with us

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Music Team for December 13, 2015:

Taylor Carr: vocals
Emily Herzog: vocals
Scott Johnson: vocals, acoustic guitar
Guimel Sibingo: vocals
Johnny Tucker: piano
Stephen Varner: drums

Justin Schilb: violin
Brittany McMurry: violin
Rachel Czech: cello

Special thanks to Jess Alldredge for the string scores for Joy to the World, This is the Christ, and God With us.

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