Preparing to Rejoice in Him // Sunday, November 29, 2020

The First Sunday in Advent


This coming Lord’s Day will be the first Sunday in Advent. As the expectation and anticipation of Advent builds, each Sunday we will light candles and read scripture that lead us to the commemoration of that glorious, and even scandalous, event wherein our Redeemer left His heavenly throne and all that was His.

“The French author Simone Weil writes in her notebook: ‘Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life.’ Without patience our expectation degenerates into wishful thinking. Patience comes form the word ‘patior’ which means ‘to suffer.’ … What seems a hindrance becomes a way; what seems an obstacle becomes a door; what seems a misfit becomes a cornerstone.” Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude


First Candle of Advent: Prophecy/Hope

The first candle we light is called the “Prophecy Candle” or “Hope Candle”. It symbolizes faith in God keeping his promises to humanity to send a Redeemer and rescue His people. Even in times of darkness and waiting, we trust that our hope comes from Him alone!


Worship Through Song: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou long expected Jesus, born to set Thy 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 ev’ry nation, joy of ev’ry longing heart

Joy to those who long to see Thee, dayspring from on high, appear
Come, Thou promised Rod of Jesse, of Thy birth we long to hear
O’er the hills the angels singing news, glad tidings of a birth
“Go to Him, your praises bringing, Christ the Lord has come to earth!”

Come to earth to taste our sadness, He whose glories knew no end
By His life He brings us gladness, our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend
Leaving riches without number, born within a cattle stall
This the everlasting wonder, Christ was born the Lord of all

Born Thy people to deliver; Born a child and yet a king
Born to reign in us forever; 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


God Calling us to Worship and Giving us Hope: Matthew 13:16-17

But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.


God’s Word Preached: James 5:7-12 (ESV)

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.

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