Prepare for Worship: Notes for services on December 14, 2014

Worshipping the Lord through Handel's Messiah 

Both the 9:00 and 11:15 Sanctuary Worship Services on December 14th will be built around the rich and wholly-scriptural texts Handel set to music in his classic Messiah oratorio.  The Sanctuary Choir will be joined by the Alleluia Ensemble and a string quartet to present the sections that tell the story of Christ's coming that first Christmas, with the congregation participating through responsive reading, hymns, and prayers.  

If you've never experienced "Messiah" as the full narrative of Jesus' coming, or perhaps have never heard more than the Hallelujah chorus, prepare to join the story in a fresh way through this music.

Click HERE for the Worship Bulletin and Guide to the Messiah Services.

The Shepherd Candle

The third Advent candle is traditionally called the Shepherd candle. The angels announced the good news of Jesus’ birth to these common people on a quiet night. They responded with wonder and faith and immediately sought out the Savior. 

Detail from stained glass in the chancel window, St Mary, Adderbury; image courtesy  Howard Stanbury  

Detail from stained glass in the chancel window, St Mary, Adderbury; image courtesy Howard Stanbury 

Between the two services, Dr. Carey Newman--Handel scholar and editor of Baylor University Press--will speak about the text of “Messiah" as well a the history of the piece and how it became a classic both inside and outside the worshipping church.  
Click here for more on Dr Newman and join us in the Sanctuary at 10:15 for this special Christian Education offering.

Contemporary Worship in the Fellowship Hall

From Ordinary to Extraordinary: Rev. Rick Hutton on Luke 2:8-14

When we remember the miracles that God has worked in His narrative of redemption, they can often seem like things "out there" and removed from us.  Even witnesses recorded in the Bible––like the shepherds to whom the Angel of the Lord appeared to announce that Jesus had been born in Bethlehem––may seem to us as mere observers, rather than participants, and we wonder what happened to them when they returned to their fields. But when God breaks into the world, not only is the world changed, but we are changed, too: our individual lives move from ordinary to extraordinary.  How does this happen? It doesn't occur because we're doing anything different than we were before, although that might be the case, but simply because God is in it.  It is God who makes us extraordinary, not who we are or what we do on our own.

8And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And an angel of the Lord *appeared to them, and *the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all *the people. 11For *unto you is born this day in *the city of David *a Savior, who is *Christ *the Lord.12And *this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby *wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel *a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14*“Glory to God *in the highest,*and on earth *peace *among those with whom he is pleased!”*

Click HERE for the Worship Bulletin for the 11:15 Contemporary Service.