The First Sunday of Advent: November 27, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27 marked the first Sunday of Advent 2011. Advent (which means “coming” or “arrival”) gives us an opportunity to reflect both on the story surrounding Christ’s birth as well as his promised return.

During Advent we remember Israel’s wait. “How long,” they asked, “until our promised Messiah comes to deliver his people?”

We, too, expect Christ’s arrival. The Messiah left heaven to be born a?poor infant, die our death and rise again. He promises to return in glory.

During Advent we yearn. We join the church’s ancient song, “How long until you come again to make all things new?”

We also prepare. In the midst of crowded days, we make room for our Redeemer, Restorer, Savior.

Wait. Expect. Yearn. Prepare. Jesus Christ “breaks into the darkness of our lives, bringing newness, life and hope.”

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Joyous Light – Words by unknown author, late 3rd -early century 4th century; translated by John Keble, 1834, alt. Arrangement and additional chorus by Chris Tomlin, David Crowder and Louie Giglio.

Our gathering song, Joyous Light is an adaptation of the Phos Hilaron, one of the earliest known hymns of the church.

Hail Gladdening Light, sun so bright
Jesus Christ, end of night, alleluia.
Hail Gladdening Light, such joyous Light
O Brilliant Star, forever shine, alleluia.

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 Phil Wickham

When we sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel we remember the prophecy of Isaiah 7 and how God’s promise to deliver his people from bondage and sin was fulfilled in Christ. We also sing longing for Christ’s return where he will “redeem all of creation and rule with power and authority.”

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

We read from Isaiah 9:2,6 and 7:14.

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

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” shared some thoughts on the hymn in his blog, Cardiphonia, giving insight into its history and meaning.

“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.

We continued with a prayer based on Isaiah 60:1-3 (from the Worship Sourcebook) which helped us to confess areas where we have failed to see and acknowledge Christ in our lives.

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

This new hymn adaptation served as our assurance of forgiveness.

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.

Come, Lord Jesus (An Advent Song) by Diane Thiel

In Christ’s death and resurrection, death has been swallowed up in victory and we live with the hope of His second Advent.

You will flood our souls with light,
Bring the broken world to rights,
as You swallow death with life,
we will be singing,
Come Lord Jesus, come redeem us
we will wait for You.

All Things New – Words: Horatius Bonar (1846), Music: Clint Wells

Come, for love waxes cold,
Its steps are faint and slow;
Faith now is lost in unbelief,
Hope’s lamp burns dim and low.

O Come and make all things new.
Come and make all things new.
O come and make all things new.
Build up this ruined Earth,
come and make all things new.

Music Team for November 27, 2010:

Kristen Camp – vocals
Sadie Currey – violin
Ashley Gross – vocals
Nick Havens – bass guitar
Rhett Johnson – electric and acoustic guitars
Scott Johnson – acoustic guitar, rhodes, vocals
Andrew Luley – drums

Kameron Bong – stagehand
Chris Halsey – lights
Darren Nichols – music media
Jake Wandel – stage design, light and media coordinator
Tim Worstell – sound

The Crossing Music’s latest album, The Shore is now available for purchase at The Crossing’s bookstore and for download at crossingsongs.com. The video below (which we used to close last week’s service) is an acoustic peformance of one of the album’s tracks. We hope you enjoy it.

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