Prelude to Advent 2011

When the heavens start singing, we’d better pay attention…

Christ’s birth was a slow burn across the ancient horizons. For 400 years, since the prophet Malachi anticipated the rise of his healing wings across the sky (Mal 4:2), the deep silence of space had been empty of all signs of a redemptive melody. The Magi (Matthew 2), seeing the first stirrings of creation’s new birth, began making preparations for their historic journey… To attend this, the opening overture of the New Covenant.

The Birth of Jesus, God’s Son, is truly the greatest feat and noblest symphony the heavens or earth have ever witnessed. Never had the cosmos displayed such a skillful harmony as in the time of Jesus’ birth. In the coming weeks we will explore the riches of this narrative through some emerging themes which help to illuminate the manger scene.

First, we will examine the background story. We will do some research into the family of Jesus, and see what the many quotes from the Old Testament reveal to us. Second, we will get to know some of the major players who traveled long distances to be present for the big event. Who were they? What were they doing? Third, we will explore the songs of Christ’s birth. Why were there so many of them? What do they have to tell us about singing praises to our Lord during this time of year? Fourth, we will explore the darker underbelly of the Christmas story. Long before Jesus’ pilgrimage to the sufferings of the cruel cross, his story was fraught with sorrow and struggle. This reminds us that in the yearly glamour of tinsel, Hollywood blockbusters, and freshly wrapped presents we still long for the greater glory of Jesus’ return.

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

mp3 | leadsheet | igrace hymnal | info

Nathan Partain
mp3 | chords | leadsheet

Sandra McCracken & Derek Webb
mp3 | leadsheet

Bill Mallonee (arr.)
mp3 | info

Shape Note – JEFFERSON
mp3 | 4pt piano | leadsheet

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