Song and Scenes: The Third Sunday of Advent (December 16, 2012)


December 16th is the third Sunday of Advent 2012. 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 said, “Advent should be dark and tense. The world desperately needs a Savior, and in Advent we should feel the weight of that longing.” This is one of the reasons why The Crossing spends so much time in the Old Testament prophecies during our Advent services. When read them together, we express (like the Israelites before us) a longing for Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, to break into the darkness of this broken world and set things right.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel – LM 88 88 (Veni Emmanuel), Words: Latin (12th century), Tune: “Processionale” (15th century), Adaptation: Thomas Helmore (1854), Arrangement by Phil Wickham

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.


Patrick Miller, this morning’s liturgist, lit the third candle of Advent and led us in a call to worship from John 1:1-5, 9-14.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


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
to take all dark away, away.


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.


This morning, it was hard not to feel the shadow of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut weighing on our hearts as we sang and worshipped. Dave Cover, one of our pastors, led us in a time of prayer asking God for His mercy, healing and restoration in the midst of the suffering and brokenness that surrounds us.

The Church Has Waited Long – Words: Horatius Bonar (1845), Music: Scott Johnson

The whole creation groans,
and waits to hear that voice
that shall her comeliness restore,
and make her wastes rejoice.

Come, Lord, and wipe away
the curse, the sin, the stain,
and make this blighted world of ours
Thine own fair world again.


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

After a time of silent prayer, Kristen led us in singing this song based on an anglican liturgical prayer.

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


As Christians we believe in real darkness, in real suffering but we don’t believe it’s the end. We’re a people of hope, who trust God to fulfill his promise—Christ will come again. Patrick led us in a reading from Zephaniah 3:14-17 (adapted by Sojourn Community Church) to help us to take hold of that promise.

Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, people of God!
For the Lord will remove his hand of judgment
and will disperse the armies of your enemy.
And the Lord himself, the King of Israel, will live among you!

At last our troubles will be over, and we will never again fear disaster.

On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be,
“Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid!
For the Lord your God is living among you.

He is a mighty savior and He takes delight in us with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all of our fears.
He will rejoice over us with joyful songs.


Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus – Words: Charles Wesley (1745), Music: Christine Cover and Greg Weile, Arrangement: The Crossing Music

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.


In Christ Alone by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty, Arrangement by King’s Kaleidoscope

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.


Music and Tech Team for December 16, 2012:

Walt Beeson – upright bass
Taylor Bonderer – violin
Andrew Camp – acoustic guitar, six-string banjo
Kristen Camp – vocals, percussion
David Cover – drums
Rhett Johnson – electric guitars
Scott Johnson – worship leader, keyboard, acoustic guitar
Alyssa Kelly – violin
Patrick Miller – liturgist
Emily Reisen – vocals

Jay Atkins – camera
Ray Batt – streaming media
Kenton Binkholder – video engineer
Laura Critchfield – IMAG director
Addison Hawkins – sound
Scott Jones – – camera
Ken Kroll – stage, media and light coordinator
Gerik Parmele – video/tech director
Kirk Pickett – camera
Jamie Stephens – music media
Tim Worstell – streaming audio

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