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Tuesday, December 16, 2008 

What Kind Of Hymns Are You Singing?

Next to the Lent, the season of the church year that I love the most is Advent. What a good time of year in our liturgical calendar for both the Scripture readings as well as the hymnody.

The word Advent comes from an old Latin word adventus which means coming. As we look at the coming of the Babe of Bethlehem we also take this time in our church’s liturgical year to look forward to the second coming of the Lamb of God who has already destroyed sin, death, and the devil at the cross.

It may seem like an odd time to talk about end times and such but when you look closely at Scripture, Jesus is always talking about the end times. At Advent we also take this time to look ahead to the promised banquet that our Lord has prepared for us in heaven.

During Advent it is not uncommon for the saints on this side of eternity, to joyfully sing hymns that look to that parousia, the second coming of Christ While we wait for that final trumpet to sound we can sing confidently that the victory is surely won on the cross at Calvary. As Israel looked to the coming messiah we sing of His triumphant return in our hymns. It may seem like an odd thing to a culture so stuck on counting down shopping days but there is indeed comfort for Christ’s Bridegroom, his Church to sing these wonderful hymns.

Our opening hymn for the third Sunday in Advent was Rejoice, Rejoice Believers by Laurentius Laurenti (1660-1772) found on page 515 in the Lutheran Service Book. Enjoy;

Rejoice, rejoice, believers, and let your lights appear.
The evening is advancing, and darker night is near.
The Bridegroom is arising, and soon He drawing nigh.
Up, pray, and watch, and wrestle: At midnight comes the cry.

The watchers on the mountain proclaim the Bridegroom near.
Go meet Him as He cometh, with alleluias clear.
The marriage feast is waiting, the gates wide open stand;
Arise, O heirs of glory, the Bridegroom is at hand.

The saints, who here in patience your cross and sufferings bore,

Shall live and reign forever, when sorrow is no more.
Around the throne of glory the Lamb ye shall behold;
In triumph cast before Him your diadems of gold!

Our hope and expectation, O Jesus, now appear!

Arise, Thou Sun so longed for, over this benighted sphere!
With hearts and hands uplifted, we plead, O Lord, to see
The day of earth’s redemption that brings us unto Thee.

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
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