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Notes on the Notes – December 2, 2018

Advent 1

This Week’s Theme:  


This week’s scripture readings:

Jeremiah 33:14-16         Luke 1:39-55

This week’s music:

“Once in Royal David’s City” (VU #62)

“Once in royal David’s city stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby in a manger for his bed.
Mary was that mother mild, Jesus Christ her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven who, with God, is over all,
And his shelter was a stable, and his cradle was a stall.
There among the poor and lowly lived on earth our Saviour holy.

For he is our lifelong pattern; daily, when on earth he grew,
He was tempted, scorned, rejected, tears and smiles like us he knew.
Thus he feels for all our sadness, and he shares in all our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see him, through his own redeeming love;
For that child who seemed so helpless is our Lord in heaven above;
And he leads his children on to the place where he is gone.”  

“Once In Royal David’s City” is a Christmas carol originally written as a poem by Cecil Frances Alexander. The carol was first published in 1848 in Miss Cecil Humphreys’  “Hymns for little Children.”  A year later, the English organist Henry John Gauntlett discovered the poem and set it to music.   Since 1919, the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at the King’s College Chapel Cambridge has begun its Christmas Eve service, with Dr Arthur Henry Mann’s arrangement of “Once in Royal David’s City” as the processional hymn. Mann was organist at King’s between 1876–1929.

Hear the choir at King’s College Cambridge in 2015:

“Give Us Hope”

As we light the first Advent candle, we sing about our longing for hope in the world.

“Give us hope for the world, while we’re waiting,
Give us hope for ourselves, we pray,
Give us hope for your love and your healing,advent-blue-candle-square.jpg
Give us hope for a brand new 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 hope.”

“Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus” (VU #2)

Charles Wesley published this hymn in 1744. He intended it as a Christmas hymn, but its theme of awaiting the arrival of the long-expected redeemer makes it suitable for Advent as well. Like so many of Wesley’s texts, “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” alludes to one or more Scripture passages in virtually every phrase. The double nature of Advent is reflected in this text, in which we remember Christ’s first coming even while praying for his return. Stanzas 1 and 2 recall Advent prophecies in the Old Testament; stanza 3 speaks of Christ’s birth and kingdom, and stanza 4 is a prayer for Christ’s rule in our hearts.

“Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set they 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 ever longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver; born a child and yet a king;
Born to reign in us for ever; now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all-sufficient merit raise us to thy glorious throne.”

Hear the hymn at:  https://youtu.be/huHEA3n1Lu8

“Sisters Let Us Walk Together” (MV #179)

“Sisters let us walk together, sharing sadness, loss and grief,
We will move through pain to wholeness, brokenness transformed to peace.

Brothers let us work together, seeking justice, healing shame,
Filled with hope, embued with courage, every violence we will name.

People let us love together, joining spirits, linking hands,
We are God’s unique creation, clothed with dignity we’ll stand.”

This hymn was written for a worship service to honour the women killed in the Montreal Massacre of 1989. It was written by Judith Snowdon in 2004.   As we enter the season of Advent, we note that the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was last Sunday, November 25, and that the anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique Massacre, in which 14 women were killed, is on December 6.  Mindful of this, we pause to examine our darkened world, looking for glimmers of hope.


“A Child of Hope”

“A Child of hope in a world of strife;
A Child of hope who can bring new life;
A Child of hope in a world of hate;
A Child of hope who can elevate the dreams of men to heights unknown;
Such is this Child, this Babe, this Son of God.

A Child of hope in a world of grief;
A Child of hope for our unbelief;
A Child of hope in a world of fear;
A Child of hope who can bring us near the source of life upon the throne;
Such is this Child, this Babe, this Son of God.
Such is this Child, this Babe, this Son of God.”

Written by Lani Smith in 1970, the lyrics of this week’s anthem are as fitting today as they were then, speaking to the hope of a child who will bring God’s kingdom to the world.

“In This Advent Time of Waiting”

“In this Advent time of waiting may we serve the Prince of Peace.
Share our gifts with those around us, joy and hope in all increase.
Dream the vision, tell the story, healing bring to those in need.
Share the promises once more, Christ is near, who came before.”

Our offering response for the season of Advent will be sung to the tune of the Christmas carol, “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” (VU  #58).

“Hope is a Star” (VU #7)

“Hope is a star that shines in the night,
Leading us on till the morning is bright.

Peace is a ribbon that circles the earth,star-of-bethlehem1.jpg
Giving a promise of safety and worth.

Joy is a song that welcomes the dawn,
Telling the world that the Saviour is born.

Love is a flame that burns in our heart,
Jesus has come and will never depart.

When God is a child there’s joy in our song.
The last shall be first and the week shall be strong,
And none shall be afraid.”

Our closing hymn is based on our four upcoming Advent themes:  hope, peace, joy, and love.  Brian Wren wrote this hymn for Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Chicago in Advent 1985.  The tune MOON BEAMS was composed for Wren’s text by Joan Collier Fogg in 1987.

“Saviour Dwell with Us” (VU #48)

“Saviour, dwell with us that we may go forth, your light to be.
Send us out, good news to sing; hope, peace, joy, and love to bring.
God incarnate, with us dwell. Come, O come, Emmanuel.
Come, Lord Jesus, don’t delay; shine your hope through us this day.
Saviour, dwell with us that we may go forth, your light to be.”

Our benediction response for Advent will be sung to the tune of  “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing (VU #48).”

To Ponder:  

What does it mean to be part of a community –
community that lives hope and shows love?


Categories: Notes on the Notes