A Posture of Expectancy
Authored by Collin Stoddard on December 9, 2016
During Christmas I brace against “busy” in my personal schedule as well as within our worship services. Worship tends to get the smallest slice among the holiday creep. The extra is necessary, a budget gap to close, children’s choirs, events that need extra promotion. We’re committed to creating the best 70 minutes of the week in our Wooddale services which includes engaging moments with Jesus and one another. Even though our time is limited, here’s how I’m using advent to help people connect in worship.
Christmas is a celebration of Christ coming and a reminder that He will come again. It’s full of expectation and excitement. I believe that when we bring this attitude toward worship and look forward to Sunday and expect God to move through our worship services and expect him to live through us in our weeks, that the Holy Spirit will move evidently.
Even So Come is a song our congregation has been embracing and it ends saying, “Come, Lord Jesus Come” which is an advent theme. This past weekend we followed it with O Come O Come Emmanuel which continues this message.
This article shares the history of how the Jews would sing O Come O Come in parellel with Psalm 74. In November 1938 Nazi Germany condoned a night of terrorizing the Jews referred to as “Krystalnacht”, or “the night of broken glass”. A terrible, violent night. Bonhoffer was an advocate for the jews who was killed because of his assignation plan of Hitler and penciled “Krystalnacht” by Psalm 74 in his Bible. Psalm 74 was a plea and prayer for them. When they read and sang, “God deliver Israel!” they were saying, “God deliver us!”
We shared in the tradition of reading Ps 74 in the Passion Translation and singing O Come O Come Emmanuel.
“1Why don’t you do something?
You have the power to break in,
so why would you hide your great power from us?
Don’t hold back! Unleash your might and give them a final blow.
12You have always been, and always will be, my King.
You are the Mighty Conqueror working wonders all over the world.”
“20Remember your promises to us,
for darkness covers the land,
giving the violent ones a hiding place.
21Don’t let these insults continue.
Can’t you see that we are your downtrodden
and oppressed people?
Make the poor and needy into a choir of praise to you!”
Ps 74:11-12, 20-21
Watch the service here: