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December 8, 2019

Advent Joy

We'll continue in the season of Advent this Sunday with a focus on Christ as Messiah and Lord and how that brings us great joy. We'll preview some of the material that we'll use for the evening concert during the morning worship service as well.

Prelude – "Behold the Lamb of God"

This is the theme of this year's concert as we turn our eyes to Christ as the Messiah who came to save the people from their sin. "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away our sin."

"Joy to the World"

We'll respond in turn by opening our corporate singing with an exclamation of great joy! Note the language in the third verse of Christ coming to reverse Adam's Fall, "No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground (that's a direct reversal of Genesis 3); he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found."

"Joy has Dawned"

This song also takes up the promise from Genesis that God would provide the remedy of the Fall through the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent. "Joy has dawned upon the world, promised from creation; God's salvation now unfurled, hope for every nation. Not with fanfares from above. Not with scenes of glory, but a humble gift of love: Jesus, born of Mary."

"O Holy Night"

There is advent imagery in the first verse and redemptive imagery in the second that but tie in so well to our over-arching themes for the morning.

"O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of the dear Savior's birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till he appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary would rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees! Oh hear the angel voices! Oh night divine, Oh night when Christ was born. Oh night divine."

"Humbly he lay, Creator come as creature, born on the floor of a hay-scattered stall. True Son of God, yet bearing human feature, he entered earth to reverse Adam's fall. In towering grace, he laid aside his glory, and in our place was sacrificed for sin. Fall on your knees! Oh hear the gospel story! Oh night divine, Oh night when Christ was born. Oh night divine."

Communion – "Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond All Splendor"

We'll likely do this one as an instrumental. The third verse speaks of the fulfillment of the promised coming of "Emmanuel" and our response to him who is both Savior and King. It also displays an appropriate posture as we approach the table that God would make us more like him. "Thou who art love beyond all telling, Savior and King, we worship thee. Emmanuel, within us dwelling, make us what thou wouldst have us be. Thou who art love beyond all telling, Savior and King, we worship thee."

Response – "He Who Is Mighty"

We respond in faith to the promised coming of the Messiah who came and pierced our darkness to show us the way to himself! "Oh, the mercy our God has shown to those who sit in death's shadow. The sun on high pierced the night; born was the Cornerstone. Unto us a Son is given, unto us a Child is born. He who is mighty has done a great thing; taken on flesh, conquered death's sting, shattered the darkness and lifted our shame. Holy is his name."