Order, Voices, & Words 11.28.21 Advent 2021 Hope

Order

Sunday, November 28 (Advent 1), 2021

Opening Audio (10:15am)

Spotify – Not In A Hurry Radio

#1 ONE Video #1 (3:08)

Call to Worship – The Holly and the Ivy

Live

Prayer                                Rick

Music 1                                                               Abbie & Billy

   Hark the Herald Angels Sing (Wesley & Mendelssohn-Bartholdy)

Today’s Story                            Online – Randy

                                    In Person-Segun

Music 2                                Abbie & Billy

  O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Neale & Helmore)

Scripture (Jeremiah 33:14-16)                Dave Cricklin

Music 3/Advent Candle                    Lighters – Scoggins

       Oh Come All Ye Faithful (Oakeley & Wade)    Music -Abbie & Billy

Message    ‘Advent 1 – Hope”                Rick

Benediction                            Online – Randy

                                    In Person – Segun

Community                            Rick

Closing Peace                                                    Rick

Prayer/Joy to the World                    Rick

  Joy to the World (Handel & Watts)

Closing Audio

Spotify – Not In A Hurry Radio

Voices and Words

Prayer

Righteous one, to you alone we lift our souls;

In you alone, we place our trust;

For you alone we wait all day long.

For you are the God of our salvation, abounding in mercy and steadfast love.

Help us remain alert and watchful for the coming of your promised one

The one who comes with power and glory,

The one drawing near to bring our salvation.

Amen.

The Abingdon Worship Annual 2009

Music 1

Hark The Herald Angels Sing (Mendelssohn)

CCLI Song # 27738

Charles Wesley | Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Verse 1

Hark the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn King

Peace on earth and mercy mild

God and sinners reconciled

Joyful all ye nations rise

Join the triumph of the skies

With th’angelic hosts proclaim

Christ is born in Bethlehem

Hark the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn King

Verse 2

Christ by highest heav’n adored

Christ the everlasting Lord

Late in time behold Him come

Offspring of the Virgin’s womb

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see

Hail th’incarnate Deity

Pleased as man with men to dwell

Jesus our Emmanuel

Hark the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn King

Verse 3

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace

Hail the Sun of Righteousness

Light and life to all He brings

Ris’n with healing in His wings

Mild He lays His glory by

Born that man no more may die

Born to raise the sons of earth

Born to give them second birth

Hark the herald angels sing

Glory to the newborn King

Today’s Story 

Hope is the thread woven through the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation we see God’s gift of hope. A hope that cannot be destroyed, a hope that is never hollow. Hope is our constant.

Hope looks like a son given to Eve in a time of darkness. Hope looks like a boat for Noah and his family, a boat that required great physical effort. Hope looks like a sense of belonging and home to Abraham and Sarah.

Hope looks like a dream to Joseph who was yet to face years of betrayal, rejection, imprisonment, and despair. Hope looks like blood, frogs, lice, flies, livestock, pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, and death to Moses.

Hope looks like an impenetrable fortress to Joshua as he led the Israelites around Jericho. Hope looks like an empty cupboard to the widow at Zarephath.

Hope looks like terrifying Serephim to Isaiah. Hope looks like an absurd reassurance to the enslaved Israelites. Hope looks like a destroyed temple and devastated farm lands on the horizon.

Hope looks like an impossible pregnancy. Hope looks like an explanation from an angel. Hope looks like an insecure ruler. Hope looks like the support from a relative. Hope looks like an unnecessary and perilous journey. Hope looks like a no vacancy sign.

Hope looks like a bright star, a smelly stable, unexpected guests, and a new born son laying in a feeding trough.

Hope looks like a remembered promise, a recognized divine action, a strengthened faith, and an action of gratitude. Hope looks like a light shining in the darkness. Hope is here. Joy to the world.

Music 2

O Come O Come Emmanuel

CCLI Song # 31982

John Mason Neale | Thomas Helmore

Verse 1

O come O come Emmanuel

And ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear

Chorus

Rejoice rejoice Emmanuel

Shall come to thee O Israel

Verse 2

O come Thou Dayspring come and cheer

Our spirits by Thine advent here

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night

And death’s dark shadows put to flight

Chorus

Rejoice rejoice Emmanuel

Shall come to thee O Israel

Verse 3

O come Desire of nations bind

All peoples in one heart and mind

Bid envy strife and quarrels cease

Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace

Chorus

Rejoice rejoice Emmanuel

Shall come to thee O Israel

Scripture

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David;

and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

Jeremiah 33:14-16

Music 3/Lighting of Advent Candle

O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)

CCLI Song # 31054

C. Frederick Oakeley | John Francis Wade

Verse 1

O come all ye faithful

Joyful and triumphant

O come ye O come ye to Bethlehem

Come and behold Him

Born the King of angels

Chorus

O come let us adore Him

O come let us adore Him

O come let us adore Him

Christ the Lord

Verse 2

Sing choirs of angels

Sing in exultation

O sing all ye bright

Hosts of heav’n above

Glory to God all

Glory in the highest

Chorus

O come let us adore Him

O come let us adore Him

O come let us adore Him

Christ the Lord

Verse 3

Yea Lord we greet Thee

Born this happy morning

Jesus to Thee be all glory giv’n

Word of the Father

Now in flesh appearing

Chorus

O come let us adore Him

O come let us adore Him

O come let us adore Him

Christ the Lord

Message        ‘A Righteous Branch’

The first rejection of God, infamously came from a woman, who was also the first person to recognize God’s hand and God’s actions post garden. She was the first to see that God had not taken away hope, hope was still there only now a bit more difficult to see. Noah, upon the offer of saving his family, diligently followed a divine blueprint to build an ark – the irony of building a boat on dry land was his hope in the midst of pure evil. Abraham, called by a God he did not know, to go to a land that was not named, where a promise was waiting of home, family, and belonging awaited provided him hope for an unchartered journey. Joseph suffered through rejection, betrayal, imprisonment, holding onto hope merely because of a childhood dream. A hopeless man running from his past, shunned by his family, Moses stood on holy ground and soon found his hope in plagues and pestilence. A widow, along with her son, facing death by starvation, trusted God’s call and found hope in a bottomless jar of oil. A promise of faithfulness allowed hope to grow and flourish among the enslaved Israelites for seven decades until they recognized the God of all hope. Hope in the midst of 400 hundred years of God’s silence strengthened a teenage virgin and her fiancé to trust in a now, not so silent God, as they labored in a stable waiting to give birth to Hope Incarnate – The Messiah – God in the flesh.

“Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all… As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.”

G.K. Chesterton, Quoted in Signs of the Times, April 1993

“Hoping does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusions.

It is not compelled to work away at keeping up appearances with a bogus spirituality. It is the opposite of desperate and panicky manipulations, of scurrying and worrying. And hoping is not self serving dreaming.

It is not spinning an illusion or fantasy to protect us from our boredom or our pain. It means a confident, alert expectation that God will do what he said he will do. It is imagination put in the harness of faith.

It is a willingness to let God do it his way and in his time. It is the opposite of making plans that we demand that God put into effect, telling him both how and when to do it. That is not hoping in God but bullying God.

I pray to GOD and wait for what he’ll say and do. My life’s on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning.”

Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13 (ESV)

Hope is justifiable anticipation. Hope is the ability to look forward because we have taken stock of that which is behind, we have calculated our gratefulness and turned our gaze to the future. Hope is the trust that God is behind and ahead of us as well as next to us, under us, and over us. Hope is founded on God’s faithful presence.

Hope is the observance of the founded reality on which Advent lies. The recognition of a people who felt abandoned for centuries, a people who had taken stock of God’s apparent absence and adjusted their expectations of God’s promise. Advent is a call to us to see those who noticed, who were looking in the midst of a people who had forgotten. Advent brings us to the same call as the would be contemporaries of Jesus who had forgotten God’s presence and God’s promise. A call to us all to recognize God is with us.

Advent is “a period of waiting in the darkness. It is a season in which we are caught between joyful expectation and the harsh realities of the present condition while we wait for the promise to be fulfilled.

And the discipline of this season puts the church at odds with contemporary American culture, in which the holiday season consists of bright lights and celebrations and packages tied with neat bows.

Ironically, this experience of being out of sync with our surroundings may attune us more deeply to the nature of Advent. In Advent, we live in the unsettling tension between what is and what will be.”

Anne Stewart

The core foundation of our hope filled anticipation is God’s promise of the Righteous Branch.

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David;

and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

Jeremiah 33:14-16

Jeremiah wrote this from a prison cell, in a time when the Babylonians, and their allies, were wrapping up their assault with the final assault on Jerusalem moments away. For Jeremiah, his dismal fate and present condition were all the more difficult because he is largely without allies, he, and mainly his message were persona non grata. No one wanted to hear bad news. The current message that God gave Jeremiah to communicate was especially unwelcome.

“The Chaldeans are coming in to fight and to fill [the houses of Jerusalem] with the dead bodies of those whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their wickedness.” 

Jeremiah 33:5

Sadly, self defensiveness kept the Israelites from hearing the rest of God’s message,

“I am going to bring it recovery and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. 

I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. 

And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them;

they shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.”

Jeremiah 33:7-9

God’s message of imminent doom was accompanied with an even greater message of eternal hope.  God gave the Israelites a constant stream of Hopeful messages which they continually missed. Our pride immersed in our misery deafens and blinds us to hope.

Attempting to reach everyone, especially the visual learners, God had given an earlier message of hope. Jeremiah purchased a piece of land. An environmentally devastated land that was about to be taken by the conquerors, and yet, Jeremiah in a public act of hope, Jeremiah made an investment. An unsound, unwise, ridiculous investment in the land that God promised would be restore to the Israelites.

However later, as Jeremiah speaks from prison, all that is visible to the Israelites is this apocalyptic moment. Hopeless, painful, and final.

God’s hopeful message is not just a promise that God has not forgotten them. It is a promise that God is present and that God will continue to be present even as God seems absent. An assurance that this is not the end of the Israelites, nor is it  the end of the promised land, and, it is not the end of Jerusalem. It is not the their end.

This was not the only, or even the main, focus of God’s message of hope. God’s message of hope, God’s message of deliverance, God’s message of redemption was eternal. This hope was not just for the Israelites, it was for all. It was, it is, for us.

A righteous branch. God says there will be a righteous branch.

A fulfillment of a promise to Abraham, a remembering of a nod made to Jacob, an affirmation of an assurance of a lineage, a promise of a descendant upon the throne. A righteous branch.

Think about the family trees we see on so many ancestry sites. Each tree with different branches, and branches off of branches, all tied into the original trunk of the tree. The righteous branch that was a descendant branch from King David and before that to Abraham, and before that to Adam. 27 branches back to David, and additional 13 branches back to Abraham, 19 back to from Seth, 1 more back to Adam, and finally one to the trunk, the source, the creator – God.

Jeremiah was declaring the promised hope of Humanity’s Family Tree, God  to Jesus. Holy to Righteous. Breath of Life to Redeemer of Life. Jesus.

For thus says the Lord: “David shall never lack a descendant to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, and the levitical priests shall never lack a man to serve.

Thus says the Lord: If any of you could break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night would not come at their appointed time, 

only then could my covenant with my servant David be broken, so that he would not have a son to reign on his throne, and my covenant with my ministers the Levites. 

Just as the host of heaven cannot be numbered and the sands of the sea cannot be measured, so I will increase the offspring of my servant David, and the Levites who minister to me.

IF I had not established my covenant with day and night and the ordinances of heaven and earth, 

then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David and not choose any of his descendants as rulers over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For I will have mercy upon them.”

Jeremiah 33:17-26

Jesus is our Righteous Branch. Jesus is our Promised Deliverer. Jesus is our Merciful Redeemer. Jesus is our Hope.

Advent, this time, is our Hopefulness as we await hope.

Let’s pray.

Benediction

May God reignite the flame of hope within us, filling our hearts with light, evicting the darkness, and instilling in us a new vision of His glory.

We now go as light-bearers to a world in darkness, we as hope-carriers to to a humanity in despair.

We go in the name of Christ, in the love of God and in the power of the Spirit.

We are a people of hope. May we let hope live in our heart. May we show the hope of Christ to all we encounter.

May we share hope by noticing God’s breath in all of humanity.

May we share hope by listening to the story of others. May we expand our hope as we pray for our world.

In this Advent season, may we experience hope anew and refreshed.

As you go out into the wonder of God’s creation, may we share hope with all of those we meet.

Community

Next Sunday – ‘Second Sunday of Advent – A Righteous Word (Luke 3:1-18 ’

2022 Budget Zoom, December 1 @ 7pm

Christmas Eve @ 6pm

No Worship December 26

2021 Theme ‘2022 – 52 weeks of a totally Different perspective of the Bible.’

Closing Peace

May God’s grace, peace, joy, love, and hope go with you.

And also with you.

Go in hope, in anticipation, in peace, and in joy.

Music 4

Joy To The World (Antioch)

CCLI Song # 24016

George Frideric Handel | Isaac Watts

Verse 1

Joy to the world the Lord is come

Let earth receive her King

Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room

And heav’n and nature sing

And heav’n and nature sing

And heav’n and heav’n and nature sing

Verse 2

Joy to the earth the Savior reigns

Let men their songs employ

While fields and floods

Rocks hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat the sounding joy

Repeat repeat the sounding joy

Verse 3

He rules the world with truth and grace

And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness

And wonders of His love

And wonders of His love

And wonders wonders of His love

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

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