***Please note: This blog was submitted by Eric Grush.***
As a new member of the Asbury family (more about me in my bio on the website), I am thrilled to be writing this week as we begin the season of Advent!
As a life-long church musician, I harken to the words of familiar Christmas carols that give messages of hope, connection to God, and praise (see what I did there?) Below, I have woven quotations from seven carols into a prayer. Can you identify the carol that contains the underlined texts?
God, we thank you for giving us hope and bringing us closer to you by sending Jesus who is born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth (1). You have cast out our sin… Enter in, be born in us today. (2) We will no more let sins and sorrows grow (3) because Jesus forever defeats sin and death, freely giving eternal life to those who believe in him.
We sing in exultation (4) and look forward to a time when … the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing. (5) Father, help us to always follow you just as the wise men would follow the star wherever it went. (6) Now we can rest in hope and communion with you, just as the baby Jesus on that first Christmas night in the stable went to sleep in heavenly peace. (7)
Check the carols for yourself with a hymnal in the South Sanctuary on Sunday if you like. (just not during the sermon!)
- Hark the Herald Angels Sing #240 vs. 3, line 4
- O Little Town of Bethlehem #230, vs. 4, line 2
- Joy to the World #246, vs. 3, line 1
- O Come, All Ye Faithful #234, vs. 3, line 1
- It Came Upon the Midnight Clear #218, vs. 4, line 4
- The First Noel #245 vs. 3, lines 3
- Silent Night #239, vs. 1, line 3
Tidings of Comfort and Joy! (Where is that text from?!)