Worship Notes for Sunday, December 11, 2011
As we read and study the Magnificat, Mary’s Song in Luke 1, notice what a compendium of Scripture references it contains. In her song of joy, Mary is truly singing anew a song to the Lord. We will concentrate on themes of joy and humility through the service elements this morning. We begin with the Introit—Good Christian Men Rejoice and proceed to the Call to Worship from Psalm 67—“Let the nations be glad and sing for joy.” We continue by singing Joy to the World—Isaac Watts version of Psalm 98 which Mary quotes in her song. As we sing All My Heart This Night Rejoices, we are reminded not only of the joy of Christ’s birth, but also the “awe and wonder” in which we kneel before Him.
The Old Testament Reading is from Isaiah 49—“In the time of my favor I have answered you, in a day salvation I have helped you.” Isaiah continues by saying, “Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth: break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.” The Prayer of Confession comes from Philippians 2 as we ponder the humility and sacrifice of Christ and our own pride. What Child is This? resonates with the paradox of the Gospel—Christ the King in a manger surrounded by animals. I love the way that William Dix weaves the road to the cross in this nativity narrative.
Our Communion Hymns, Behold the Great Creator and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, both walk through the theology of the incarnation with “comfort and joy.” We conclude with Angels from the Realms of Glory in praise of the “newborn King.”