That’s What Advent Is For

I had trouble sleeping last night. Not terribly unusual for me but always unwelcome. As I tried to get back to sleep, I prayed for the people in my life that I know are facing struggles and difficulties. And as much as I love the Christmas season, I know it’s not a “Holly Jolly Christmas”for everyone all the time. And the thought ran through my head over and over, “this is what Advent is for.”

Advent simply means “coming,” so part of Advent is repentance that our sin was the reason that made His first coming necessary, but then comes the  joyful celebration at Christmas that He DID come to redeem us.  But also, we look ahead to His second coming. The fact that we live in this broken world and struggle with our own trials and difficulties makes us long for the time when Jesus will come again and make all things right.

That’s what Advent is for. Advent is for waiting. It’s a time for preparing our hearts. It’s a time for longing. It’s a time for hope.

I love the tree, and the lights and the happy songs and the nostalgic songs and all the fun times with friends. But I love finding the quiet too.

I put together a playlist for Advent. Songs new and ancient. Songs of waiting, hoping, calling out to God for help and songs that speak of Jesus, the coming light. Maybe it will be a way for your heart to “prepare Him room.” I pray it will be a blessing to you.

 

 

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Worship at Calvary: December 3

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This is our order of worship for Sunday, December 3, 2017 at Calvary Community Church: (Click on the highlighted song titles to listen, or listen to our church playlist. ) 

CALL TO WORSHIP — Psalm 80:1-3
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh,
stir up your might
and come to save us!
Restore us, O God;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved!

PRAISE & ADORATION
Shine On Us
O Come, O Come Emmanuel

GRACE & MERCY — John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

From the Squalor of a Borrowed Stable
His Mercy Is More

Teaching from Isaiah 11:1-10

O Come, O Come Messiah

I publish our song lists every week to help us prepare our hearts for corporate worship. You can also come back to this post during the week to reflect on our time together. Join us this Sunday,  at 10:00 a.m. to sing together, pray, and hear from God’s Word! 

Carol of Joy

I thought I would kick off December by sharing a Christmas song and what better way than with this lovely choral piece. I think it’s musically too complex for congregational singing but it is gorgeous and the words communicate so clearly that Jesus came to break the curse of sin and redeem a fallen world. The first two verses tell of his incarnation. The third verse calls to those without Christ, those “lonely, laden, forlorn” now. He can be your Savior now.

Carol of Joy
Green leaves all fallen, withered and dry;
brief sunset fading, dim winter sky;
lengthening shadows, dark closing in;
then through the stillness, carols begin.
O fallen world, to you is the song!
Death holds you fast, and night tarries long.
Jesus is born, your curse to destroy;
sweet to your ears, a carol of joy!

Pale moon ascending, solemn and slow;
cold, barren hillside shrouded in show.
Deep, empty valley, veiled by the night;
hear angel music, hopeful and bright.
O fearful world, to you is the song!
Peace with your God, and pardon for wrong.
Tidings for sinners, burdened and bound;
carol of joy, a Savior is found!

Earth wrapped in sorrow, lift up your eyes!
Thrill to the chorus filling the skies,
Look up, sadhearted! Witness God’s love;
join in the carol swelling above!
O friendless world, to you is the song!
All heaven’s joy to you may belong!
You who are lonely, laden, forlorn;
Now unto you, a Savior is born.

(c) 2007 Eileen Berry, Dan Forrest

Worship at Calvary: November 26

This is our order of worship for Sunday, November 26, 2017 at Calvary Community Church: (Click on the highlighted song titles to listen, or listen to our playlist. )

CALL TO WORSHIP — Deut. 10:21, Psalms 118:28-29; 75:1 (NKJV)
He is your praise, and He is your God,
who has done for you these great and awesome things
which your eyes have seen.
You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!

PRAISE & ADORATION

Now Thank We All Our God
Give Thanks
10,000 Reasons
Doxology

GRACE & MERCY
My Heart is Filled With Thankfulness

Teaching from Genesis 23

Give Me Jesus

 

 

 

 

Worship at Calvary: November 19

This is our order of worship for Sunday, November, 2017 at Calvary Community Church: (Click on the highlighted song titles to listen, or listen to our playlist. )

CALL TO WORSHIP — Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!

PRAISE & ADORATION
Come People of the Risen King
Our Great God

 

GRACE & MERCY — Psalm 57:1-3
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me.
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

His Mercy Is More
My Soul Finds Rest

Teaching from Genesis 22

How Deep the Father’s Love for Us

 

 

Worship at Calvary: November 12

This is our order of worship for Sunday, November 12, 2017 at Calvary Community Church: (Click on the highlighted song titles to listen, or listen to our playlist. ) Our worship last Sunday flowed from Psalm 86, following its text and themes.

PRAYER
Psalm 86:1-7
Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am godly;
save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
Be gracious to me, O Lord,
for to you do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
    listen to my plea for grace.
In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
    for you answer me.

I Need Thee Every Hour

PRAISE & ADORATION — Psalm 86:8-13
There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
You are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul.

Unbroken Praise

Come Christians Join to Sing

GRACE & MERCY — Psalm 86:14-17
O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
and they do not set you before them.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Turn to me and be gracious to me;
give your strength to your servant,
and save the son of your maidservant.
Show me a sign of your favor,
that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

 Man of Sorrows

Teaching from Genesis 21

We Will Feast in the House of Zion

 

Worship at Calvary: November 5

Here is our order of worship for Sunday, November 5, 2017 at Calvary Community Church: (Click on the highlighted song titles to listen, or listen to our playlist. )

CALL TO WORSHIP — Psalm 68:32-35

O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;
sing praises to the Lord, Selah
to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens;
behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
Ascribe power to God,
whose majesty is over Israel,
and whose power is in the skies.
Awesome is God from his sanctuary;
the God of Israel—
    he is the one who gives power and strength to his people.
Blessed be God!

PRAISE & ADORATION
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
We Fall Down

GRACE
His Mercy Is More
Jesus Paid It All

CLOSING SONG
We Will Feast In the House of Zion