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Notes on the Notes – December 16, 2018

Advent 3

This week’s theme:


This week’s scripture readings:

Isaiah 55    Luke 3:7-18

This week’s music:

“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

“O come, O come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lowly exile here until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Thou Dayspring, 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!

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high and order all things, far and nigh;
To us the path of knowledge show and cause us in her ways to go.

O come, Desire of nations, bin all peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife, and quarrels cease, fill the whole world with Heaven’s peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!”

This beautiful setting of the Latin plainsong is by Thomas Helmore, arranged by Camp Kirkland (2003).   “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is a well-known Advent hymn. While it is most commonly known by that English title, it is in fact a translation of the original Latin, “Veni, Veni, Emmanuel.” 

Hear the song by Selah to scenes from The Nativity at:

See The Piano Guys with scenes from the life of Jesus at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tP9U42m2wsI 

“Give us Joy”

“Give us for the world, we are aching,
Give us joy for ourselves, we pray.
Give us joy in the wonder of living,
Give us joy to live your way each day.

Light a candle, light a candle,
Light a candle while we wait and pray.
Light a candle, light a candle,
Light a candle of God’s joy.”

As we light the third candle on the Advent wreath, we are reminding of the longing for God’s joy in our lives.

“Good Christian Friends, Rejoice” (VU #35)

“Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Now ye hear of endless bliss: Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this!
He hath opened heaven’s door, and we are blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this! Christ was born for this!

Good Christian friends, rejoice with heart and soul and voice!
Now ye need not fear the grave: Peace! Peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all to gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save! Christ was born to save!”

This hymn was translated by John Mason Neale from a 14th-century carol, written in German and Latin, and was included in his Carols for Christmas-tide (1853).  The text has been revised to make it more inclusive and thus more useable in contemporary worship, although the original translation remains more popular outside of the church.

Hear the Wissman Family:

Hear an upbeat version on piano and fiddle at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBL4ZACPyEE

Hear a Celtic band play the tune at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=69DGHaSbixs

“A New Creed”

“We are not alone,
we live in God’s world.
We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and othersUnited church crest
by the Spirit.
We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.”

As we celebrate the sacrament of baptism this week, we join together to sing our statement of faith.  The words for The New Creed were written in 1968.

“Midnight Clear”

“It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old
From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold.
Peace on the earth, good will to men from heaven’s all-gracious King.
The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come with peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats through all the weary world;
And man at war with man, hears not the love song which they bring.
O hush the noise and cease the strife and hear the angels sing.

Glory to God in the highest!
Glory to God evermore!
Good news, great joy for all!
Melody breaks through the silence:
Christ the Saviour is born!
Jesus, the love song of God!

A popular trend in contemporary Christian music is to take a well-known hymn or carol and pair it with a modern chorus.  This has been beautifully done in the song “Midnight Clear/Love Song,”  taking the Christmas carol “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and adding a praise chorus by Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash and Jonas Myrin (2015).


“Light of the Stable”

“Hail, hail to the newborn King!
Let our voices sing Him our praises!
Hail, hail to the guiding light that brought us tonight to our Savior.

Halle! Hallelujah!

Come, now let it shine so bright to the knowing Light of the stable.
Kneel close to the Child so dear,
Cast aside your fear and be thankful.

Halle! Hallelujah!”

This song is by Steve and Elizabeth Rhymer (1975). It has been arranged by David Angerman (2012).

“A Journey Just Begun”

“Come and join us on a journey just begun
As we celebrate the life of God’s own son.
The stories of his life become our stories, too,
In the choices that we make, in everything we do.
Come and join us on a journey just begun.

We will walk from the darkness to the light,
Led by the shining star so bright.
Once more with hope we wait for a baby’s birth
When the love of God shall bring peace to all the earth,
As we walk from the darkness to the light.

We will walk in the light of all the world,
Shining for the nations to be heard.
Jesus is our friend, companion on the way,
We want to spread his love in all we do and say,
As we walk in the light of all the world.

We will walk up the mountain of our God
With the children of the whole wide world abroad.
The hungry shall be fed, yes, every girl and boy,
The captives shall go free, the lame shall leap for joy,
As we walk up the mountain of our God.

Preparing the way,
Preparing the way,
We’re preparing the way of our God.”

Our closing hymn this week was written by Jim Strathdee in 1989.  As we move closer to the birth of Jesus, we continue to prepare the way for God.   This song reminds us that our journey with God goes beyond Advent and Christmas, as we share God’s love with the world.

“You Shall Go Out With Joy” (VU #884)

“You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth before you,
There’ll be shouts of joy, and all the trees of the field
Will clap, will clap their hands!

And all the trees of the field with clap their hands,
The trees of the field will clap their hands,
The trees of the field will clap their hands
While you go out with joy!”

Our benediction response this week is a paraphrase of the words of Isaiah 55.  If was written by Steffi G. Rubin and Stuart Dauermann in 1975.

To ponder:

What brings you joy in the world today?


Categories: Notes on the Notes