The First Sunday of Advent: November 28, 2010

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November 28 marked the first Sunday of Advent 2010. 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. It is marked by moments of quiet waiting and joyful expectation.

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.”

This week’s photos are by Scott Myers. You’ll find links in the song titles that will allow you to purchase recorded versions of the songs (where available).

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The Christ, Our Light by Martin Reardon

Throughout the Bible we see that God uses the metaphor of light to describe his character, particularly in regards to His Son, the Light of the World. With this gathering song we remember the darkness of our hearts apart from Christ.

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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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.

Joyous Light was adapted from the Phos Hilaron, one of the earliest known hymns in Christendom. The Phos Hilaron was sung by the early church to celebrate the Risen Lord.

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

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O Come, O Come Emmanuel – LM 88 88 (Veni Emmanuel) / Words: Latin, 12th Cent; tr. composite / Tune: “Processionale:, 15th cent. ; adpt. Thomas Helmore, 1854

When we sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel we recall 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!

The following are links to the scriptures that were read between verses to this hymn.

Isaiah 42:5-7, Isaiah 11:1-4, Isaiah 9:2, 6; 2 Corinthians 4:6 , Isaiah 42:1-4, Micah 7:8-9

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You Are the Light by Matthew Smith and Jeff Pardo (based in part on a hymn text by Charles Wesley)

This new song by Matthew Smith echoed the themes found in O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

Visit, then, this soul of mine,
pierce the gloom of sin and grief.
Fill me, Radiancy Divine,
scatter all my unbelief.
More and more Yourself display,
shining to the perfect day.

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Agnus Dei by Martin Reardon

One of the ways we prepare our hearts during the Advent season (and throughout the year) is by willingly coming before the Lord in humble repetnace for our sins. We did this in silence and with this song based on traditional liturgy.

Jesus, Lamb of God,
who takes away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us.

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Come, Lord Jesus (An Advent Song)

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.

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Nothing But the Blood – Words and Music by Robert Lowry

This classic hymn reminds us that there is nothing that we can do to rid ourselves of the guilt of sin. Our broken souls are redeemed, rescued and restored by Christ alone.

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

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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.

Music Team for November 28, 2010:

Taylor Bonderer – violin
Lacey Burrell – vocals
Sadie Currey – violin
Nick Havens – bass guitar
Rachel Johnson – Reader
Scott Johnson – acoustic guitar, vocals
Andrew Luley – drums
Shane Murphey – cello
Jeff Myers – vocals
Ethan Vizitei – piano, organ

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For more information about music written by members of the music team for corporate worship visit The Crossing Music. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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