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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Words of Encouragement November 30, 2014

This is the First Sunday in Advent: which is the beginning of the new church year and the time when we prepare to celebrate the first coming of Christ and anticipate his second coming. The first Sunday reminds us of the promise of Light and Hope.

Our young, interim youth pastor is preparing to leave for the mission field in eleven days. He shared with us a bit of his preparations, duties and expectations. We will be praying for him as he ministers through a lifestyle showing compassion in a land that does not have freedom to openly share the word of God.

Our Pastor gave a nice sermon entitled: Jesus' Name Brings Hope. The message focused on Isaiah 8 and 9 and concluded with 1 John 1:1-5. These passages speak of people walking in darkness who have seen a great light and recognizing God as life and light.

I have begun reading Every Valley: Advent with the Scriptures of Handel's Messiah for review.  There are forty chapters that provide daily reading through the Twelfth day of Christmas. It is appropriate to run beyond Christmas since it the work covers Christ's Birth and its Foretelling, Christ's Passion and Resurrection and Christ's Eternal Reign. Many of us are familiar with certain hymns from Handel's Messiah but this is the first time I have studied its words. As the author notes, one of the things we recognize (sometimes without even realizing it) in Handel's powerful work is the "tonal painting".

The first chapter covers the beginning songs: Comfort Ye My People and Every Valley. There were several stirring tenor videos but I had thought to share a lovely video with the words but it did not permit embedding. If anyone would like to sit back and enjoy the moving music and words please visit this video:

Instead I will share a video of the song our choir sang this morning. We sang a cantata version as it is part of the program we will sing in two weeks. It is a perfect song to begin Advent:
Let There Be Light!

A Verse for Today:
Isaiah 40:5 (NIV)
5And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Lord, I pray that I will always look to You to light my path. Also, please let Your light shine through me so others may come to know You.

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