Preparing for Worship - December 9, 2018
Join us this Sunday as we continue in our advent series: God Incarnate. Here are the songs that we’ll sing together:
1. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Style: We will be playing the traditional version of this hymn. It will be mid to up-tempo.
Song info: The first two stanzas of this hymn are attributed to Charles Wesley in 1744 but the final two were not penned until 1978 by Mark E. Hunt. This is one of the rare advent hymns that focuses on the theme of anticipation. In the song, Jesus has not yet come but the people of God are eagerly expecting him. We can sing this song today remembering his first advent and also longing for him to come again.
2. Ah, Holy Jesus
Style: We will play the traditional version of this hymn. It is low-tempo and perfectly suited for post-sermon reflection and preparation for the Lord's Supper.
Song Info: Ah Holy Jesus is a German hymn from 1630 by Johann Hermann. The tune itself was composed by Johann Crüger but has been used by various other composers including JS Bach and Johannes Brahms. It has a beautiful and enduring melody and equally beautiful lyrics. The song is a meditation upon the cross. Why was innocent Jesus crucified? It was not because of his sin, but ours. "Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered. The slave hath sinned and the Son hath suffered". The song concludes with a confession that we can by no means repay Jesus. All that is left for us to do is adore him and offer our lives as sacrifices of thanksgiving to the king.
3. O Come O Come Emmanuel
Style: We will play this song in its traditional style.
Song info: This hymn was first published in Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum in 1710. The exact authorship of the lyrics and the tune itself are unknown but it has reached its modern form through the help of Johannes Herringsdorf. This is a true Advent hymn as it is anticipated the appearance of Christ rather than celebrating his arrival. It is sung from the perspective of God's people mourning in exile and awaiting the promised Davidic king.
4. O Quickly Come Dread Judge of All
Style: We will play this song in its traditional setting. It is somber but also joyful.
Song Info: This famous nineteenth century hymn was written by Laurence Tuttiett and is set to the tune of Melita from John Dykes. It is a hymn about anticipating the return of Christ. This is appropriate to sing at any time, but especially during the advent season. Many don’t realize that the original purpose of advent was to remember Jesus’ first appearance, but also to help us long for his second appearance when he will come to finally save his people.
5. Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
Style: We will be playing the traditional version of this hymn. It will be a slow tempo.
Song Info: This classic hymn was originally part of George Frideric Handel's Messiah in 1741. It has come to be considered a Christmas song about Christ's advent but it's actually about Christ's ascension into heaven after the resurrection. It comes from Psalm 24 - the Psalm of ascension. In that Psalm, the king of glory is coming to his glorious throne in Jerusalem. The gates of Jerusalem are to lift up for him to enter. This song connects that Psalm to Jesus Christ entering the heavenly throne room and sitting next to God the Father after his victory of the cross had been won. It also connects the ascension to the filling of the Holy Spirit that happens to every believer. Christ is seated in heaven with the Father but also seated in our hearts and lives by the Holy Spirit.