Song and Scenes: The First Sunday of Advent (December 1, 2013)

December 1st is the first Sunday of Advent 2013. Advent (which means “coming” or “arrival”) is a season where the church remembers Christ’s first coming at Christmas and anticipates his promised return. We began our Advent celebration by meditating on the prophecies of Isaiah and singing songs that focused our gaze on Christ, the Coming Light who “breaks into the darkness of our lives, bringing newness, life and hope.”

1. Call to Worship/Candle Lighting: Isaiah 9:2, 6

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness 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.

2. 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, 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.

3. Advent Reading (based on Malachi 3:1)

The Lord whom you seek shall suddenly come to his temple;
the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight.
Behold, he is coming. Rejoice and wait in humble expectation.

Our King is coming; the righteous Savior,
who shall speak peace to the nations.


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.

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

5. Prayer of Confession (based on Isaiah 60:1-3)

Arise, shine, for your light has come.

O God, we live as if the light
had never defeated the darkness
in the world or in us.

And the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

We confess that we ignore the Christ
You sent to be among us, to be in us.

See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.

We’ve kept the birth of Your Son
confined to the Christmas season
and do not yearn for His birth
each moment in our waiting hearts.

Nations will come to Your light,
and kings to the brightness of Your dawn.

Lord, You came to us
in the fullness of time.
Forgive us for not opening our eyes
to Your coming.

6. Assurance of Forgiveness:

Jesus Christ, our Lord,
whose coming we announce in this season,
is our righteousness.

In Christ, we are made right with God.
Thanks be to God!

7. Reading: Isaiah 60:1-5, 22b

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
See, darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the LORD rises upon you,
and his glory will be seen upon you.
Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.

Lift up your eyes all around, and see;
they all gather together, they come to you;
your sons shall come from afar,
and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and exult,
because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.

He is the LORD;
in its time He will hasten it.

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.


8. A Day of Glory by Chris Collins, Justin Cofield, Aaron Ivey, Matt Carter (based on hymn text by John M. Neale)

Austin Stone church provided a helpful explanation of the theological roots of this new song. Here’s an excerpt.

We reflect on Christ’s coming as a day when God’s glorious light pierced the gloomy darkness (Isaiah 60:1-6), and we also look forward to His return as a future day of glory when He will make all things new (Revelation 21:5-6). The lyrics of the song “Day of Glory” cause us to reflect on the glorious reality of Christ’s coming and to direct our hearts toward the future day of glory when we will behold our great King in the fullness of His majesty.

You can read the full text here.

A day, a day of promise,
a hope to end our woe
A day that tells of triumph
against our vanquished foe

In flesh His entrance humble,
the swaddling clothes His robe
The meek displayed in power,
the Prince of Peace now known

Let angels shout the triumph
as mortals raise their voice,
“Behold the Son of heav’n and earth,
the King of Kings is born!”

9. Communion Song: 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.

10. Communion Song: The Mystery of Faith – Words: Traditional english liturgy, Music by Scott Johnson and David Wilton

Christ has died, Christ has risen,
Christ will come again.
Emmanuel, Emmanuel
Christ will come again.

11. Communion Song: Jude Doxology by Cam Huxford

Cam Huxford tells the story behind Ghost Ship’s adaptation of Jude Doxology, the new song we sang this weekend:

Jude ends his letter with a doxology. “Doxo” means glory and “doxology” is a statement about the glory of God. But I think of it as he’s actually ending it with a song about the glory of Jesus Christ. He says, “to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever.” So in Jude’s book he’s reminding us that Jesus is God, that Jesus is reigning. He always has been. He was reigning when the Israelites came out of Egypt. He’s reigning right now and He will reign forever. And so, this song is just singing that doxology that Jude wrote.

Remember, Jesus reigns above the heavens.
He’s coming, he is coming with his Kingdom.
Do not forget, he is seated on the throne.
Remember, what he has done

To the only God, our Savior Jesus Christ
be glory, honor, power and dominion,
before all time, and now, and ever more!

Music Team for December 1, 2013:

Walt Beeson – bass
Ashley Gross – vocals, percussion
Emily Herzog – vocals
Scott Johnson – worship leader, acoustic guitar
Andrew Luley – drums
Ethan Vizitei – vibes, piano

Josie Patton – cello
Justin Schilb – violin
Benediction Sin – violin

Tech Team:

Tracy Christman – camera operator
Mike Conant – light board operator
Luke Curry – camera operator
Kevin Fletcher – technical director
Barrett Knox – live-stream audio
Ken Kroll – production manager; light designer/director
Darin Nichols – music cg
Gerik Parmele – video director
Kate Shanks – sermon and live-stream music cg
Ryan Stoll – camera operator
Tyler Stone – video engineer
Jake Wandel – cg coordinator
Tim Worstell – front of house audio

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