Monday, December 01, 2014

Sing Christmas Dec 1

Wake, o wake! with tidings thrilling
the watchmen all the air are filling,
arise, Jerusalem, arise!
Midnight strikes! no more delaying,
"The hour has come!" we hear them saying.
Where are ye all, ye virgins wise?
The Bridegroom comes in sight,
raise high your torches bright!
Alleluia! The wedding song
swells long and strong:
go forth and join the festal throng.

Zion hears the watchmen shouting,
her heart leaps with joy undoubting,
she stands and waits with eager eyes;
adorned with truth and grace unending!
Her light burns clear, her star doth rise.
Now come, thou precious Crown,
Lord Jesus, God's own Son!
Hosanna! Let us prepare
to follow there,
where in thy supper we may share.

Every soul in thee rejoices;
from men and angelic voices
be glory given to thee alone!
Thy presence never more shall leave us,
we stand with angels round thy throne.
Earth cannot give below
the bliss thou dost bestow.
Alleluia! Grant us to raise
to length of days,
the triumph-chorus of thy praise.

Words: Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608), 1597;
trans. Francis Crawford Burkitt (1864-1935), 1906
Music: Wachet auf (Philipp Nicolai, 1556-1609, harm. Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750)

This hymn, written by German Lutheran pastor, Philipp Nicolai, is based on the story of the wise and foolish bridesmaids (Matthew 25:1–13). Five have enough oil to provide light when the Bridegroom finally arrives, but the others haven’t, and aren’t ready to join in the rejoicing. It urges us to be ready for God to show up in our lives, ready to be part of his new kingdom.
They hymn also draws on Old Testament images from Isaiah 40.9 which calls on the people of Jerusalem (Zion) to recognise and proclaim the moment when God comes to rescue them from their exile in Babylon. “Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings…say to the cities of Judah, ‘ Here is your God!”

·         Are there times in your life when you have found yourself unprepared to deal with life, caught on the back foot?
·         How can we have our eyes open to the presence of God in our lives, each day, in the good times and the bad? What stops this happening?

Bible Reading: My soul waits for the Lord, more than those who watch for the morning. Psalm 130

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