The Third Sunday of Advent: December 11, 2011

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December 11 marked the third 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.”

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Day of Christ by Andrew Camp, Christine Cover, David A. Cover, & Andrew Luley

“Day of Christ” is a song from The Crossing Music’s new album The Shore. Several songs on the album highlight the saints’ anticipation of Jesus Christ’s second advent.

Wading through the darkened tide,
waiting for this curse to die;
Day of Christ, arise on us,
illuminate Your promise.

We wait, we watch, we long for Your kingdom!
We wait, we watch, we long for You, Jesus.

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Our call to worship (SCC) included a reading based on Psalm 130:5-7 (WS).

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his Word I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning.

There is no darkness with you, O Lord.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plenteous redemption.

There is no darkness with you, O Lord.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

There is no darkness with you, O Lord.

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The Christ, Our Light by Martin Reardon

When all was dark and without dawn
You gave us Light, you sent your Son.
The Christ, the Christ, He shines, He shines
and drives all dark away, away.

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Savior of the Nations, Come – Words: Ambrose (4th Century), Martin Luther (1523), Traditional: Calvin Seerveld (1984), Music: Enchiridia, Erfurt (1524), Arr. Bruce Benedict (2009)
The link above is to a free download of this song.

Savior of the nations, come;
Show yourself the virgin’s son.
Marvel heaven, wonder earth
that the Lord chose such a birth.

Praise to you, O Lord, we sing.
Praise to Christ, our newborn King!
With the Father, Spirit, one,
let your lasting kingdom come.

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We prayed a prayer of lament (OS, WS, SCC) acknowledging the brokenness of this world and our soul’s deep longing for Christ to come again and make all things new.

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

This hymn from Red Mountain Music put music to our prayer with an aching melody expressing the Bride’s (the church’s) yearning for her Bridegroom’s (Jesus’) arrival.

Come, for Thy saints still wait:
Daily ascends their sigh;
The Spirit and the Bride say,
“Come!” Does Thou not hear the cry?

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.

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We heard the assurance of restoration (WS) God has promised when Christ returns.

We are a people of hope waiting for the return of our Lord. God will renew the world through Jesus, who will put all unrighteousness out, purify the works of human hands, and perfect our fellowship in divine love.

Christ will wipe away every tear; death shall be no more. There will be a new heaven and a new earth, and all creation will be filled with God’s glory.

It’s time that we prepare for His coming.

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

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus

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Hail to the Lord’s Anointed – Words: James Montgomery (1821), Music: Vito Aiuto (2008)

“Hail to the Lord’s Anointed” is based on Isaiah 61 and lyrically anticipates the second advent of Christ, the anointed Savior of world as well as the justice and peace He will usher in with his Kingdom.

Hail to the Lord’s anointed,
great David’s greater Son!
Hail in the time appointed,

His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression,

to set the captive free;
To take away transgression

and rule in equity.

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

Good news from heaven 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,
and from our sins will set us free.

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We expressed our joy filled thanksgiving for all God us done for us in Jesus Christ with the following prayer (WS).

God of salvation, in Christ you have done great things for us!

And our hearts are filled with joy.

You have turned our weeping into singing…

…and our tears into songs of joy!

Work in us the Message that prepares the way…

…so that with uprightness of heart and holy joy we may eagerly await
the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Amen.

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Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy) – Words: Isaac Watts (1719) (based on Psalm 98), Music: ANTIOCH C.M.rep. George Frederick Handel (1742), Arr. Lowell Mason (1836), Arr. and Additional Chorus by Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash and Matt Gilder.

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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This morning’s call to worship, readings and prayers were adapted resources from The Open Sourcebook (OS), The Worship Sourcebook (WS) and Sojourn Community Church (SCC).

Music and Tech Team for December 11, 2011:

Taylor Bonderer – violin
Zach Burmaster – acoustic/electric guitars, glockenspiel, percussion, vocals
Lacey Burrell – vocals
Kristen Camp – vocals
David Cover – electric guitar, six-string banjo, percussion, vocals
Sadie Currey – violin
Nick Havens – bass guitar, percussion
Scott Johnson – rhodes, piano, keyboard, vocals
Andrew Luley – drums, percussion

Kameron Bong – stagehand
Mike Contant – sermon media
Chris Halsey – lights
Michael Novak – music media
Jake Wandel – stage design, light and media coordinator
Tim Worstell – sound

Photography courtesy of Lana Eklund.

The Crossing Music’s latest album, The Shore is now available for purchase at The Crossing’s bookstore and as a download at crossingsongs.com. The video below is an acoustic peformance of one of the album’s tracks.

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