Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sing Christmas Nov 30

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.

O come, thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.

From the Great O Antiphons, 12-13th C, trans. John Mason Neale (1818-186

We begin our meditations with a few carols and hymns associated with Advent rather than Christmas. Advent comes from a Latin word that means “to come”. In Advent we think about those who at the time of Christ longed for God’s promised Messiah to come, and we think too of our own longings for ourselves and for the world.
This hymn draws on a traditional set of responses used at the evening service of Vespers called the “Great O Antiphons”.  They plead for Christ to come, using Biblical images for Jesus that have their roots in the Old Testament. Though the hymn is ancient, the longings of those who wrote it are easily recognisable. They feel they are in exile. They long to come home, to be free, to find light and hope in times of trouble, and to find God’s guiding presence now, just as ancient Israel did when Moses was given the Law on Mount Sinai. The refrain reassures them that help is on the way.

·         Which verse of the hymn speaks to you most powerfully?
·         What do you long for right now?
·         Do you believe God will give you what you need and long for?

Bible Reading: Jesus says: Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking:if you hear my voice and open the door I will come in to you and eat with you , and you with me. Revelation 3.20

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