Getting Ready for Sunday :: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, December 2

This Sunday marks a beginning. It is this first Sunday of Advent, and the first day of the Christian Year. On the church calendar, time is marked not by secular or nationalistic holidays, corporate fiscal years, academic semesters, or lunar phases. Weekly time is marked by the Sabbath, and yearly time is marked by the events of Jesus’ life on earth. So the first period of time is called Advent, which derives from the latin adventus, meaning “coming” or “arrival.” When our first father Adam fell in the garden on that fateful day, the Lord delivered a curse, and a promise. The curse was separation, enmity, violence, toil, pain, hurt, brokenness, sin. But the promise was that this was not the end of the story. God said that there would be enmity between the woman and the serpent, between her seed and his. And then he describes an epic scene. The serpent’s descendant would strike Eve’s descendent, wounding his heel. But this hero, at just the right time, would land a fatal blow to the head of his enemy. And this critical act would redeem this fallen people, and break this wicked curse. And so they would wait. They would wait through Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and David and all the prophets. They would wait through good kings, and bad kings, through freedom and captivity, through great blessings and heavy discipline, through thousands of years for the fulfillment of this promise. And on the representing the eve of this fulfillment, we observe Advent. Now we are God’s people of the New Covenant, so we know the story. Christ was born, lived, died, rose again. But the story is still not fully realized. So while we look back in celebration of what Christ did, we concurrently look forward to the end, the eschaton, when Christ returns for those he calls his own.

So let’s prepare for this first Sunday of Advent. We will light the first candle of the Advent wreath, and this candle signifies hope. Our scripture text is a prophecy from Jeremiah that begins this way: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”

The days are coming.

THE WORD

Scripture: Jeremiah 33:14-18

Sermon: “Hope: The Messiah Will Come”

SONGS

Worship Leader: Jeremy D. Goodwyne

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (Red Mountain)
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Savior of the Nations, Come (Cardiphonia)

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God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
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Mighty to Save (Hillsong)
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Offering: O Great Love of God (Crowder)
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Song of Response: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (Red Mountain)
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