The text this week is Luke 2:22-28, in which we see that both Simeon and Anna were waiting and hoping for the promised Messiah. Our topic is hope, and we will have Christmas worship focused on the longing for a Messiah and the hope we can find in his promises.
The visual theme is ‘bleak winter,’ the long winter of those clinging to hope.
Here is the link to the YouTube playlist: 141130 Heart Prep
Come Children of this Long Discarded Night – Ron Block/Rebecca Reynolds
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (too many nice versions to just link one!)
O Little Town of Bethlehem – Hymn #141
O Little Town of Bethlehem – Fernando Ortega version
Welcome to Our World – Chris Rice
O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Steven Curtis Chapman
Invitation to Communion:
I Wonder as I Wander – Hymn #139
I Wonder as I Wander – another version, with lyrics
What Child Is This? – Hymn #137
What Child is This? – Josh Groban’s version
How Suddenly a Baby Cries – Getty
Scripture for Meditation
Luke 2:22-38 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
25Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, 29“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; 30for my eyes have seen your salvation 31that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” 33And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
36And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Romans 5:1-8 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.