Excerpt from 2014 Advent Resources

Anticipate…a Song: The Song of Isaiah Advent Worship Series – Week 1

November 30, 2014

Anticipate the Promise


Announcements and Offering

Call to Worship:

No season, no holiday, no historical event has generated more songs than Christmas.  At Christmas, everyone sings – even the Grinch – and we all have our favorite song.  In the Bible there are songs of Christmas – all sung by individuals who were in very different places, and yet all of them express beautifully the over-arching theme of Christmas: God with us.  The songs of Christmas are ways of getting us to feel Christmas, to experience it with all of our faculties.  The gospel of Christmas is not just something we believe, but something we anticipate each year.

(Adapted from Steve DeNeff)


As one calling in the wilderness, the follower of Christ today is called to proclaim that the long night is over and the coming of the Lord is at hand.  This is the gospel of Christ breaking in upon the dark world: “Here is your God … the Sovereign Lord comes with power and his arm rules for him” (Isaiah 40:9-10).  This has implications for every person in every discipline on earth.  It is something that every one of us can proclaim, from whatever vocation we are in.  Our salvation does not come from things we have done with our own hands.  Our salvation comes from the Lord.


SB#75 – Angels, from the realms of Glory TB-423 – Regent Square HTD4-T12 (4 vs.)
                                                      Additional Optional Songs
SB#84 – Joy to the World! TB-103 – same HTD4-T9 (3 vs.)
SB#78 – Christians awake TB-523 – same HTD10-T1 (3vs.)
SB#88 – See, amid the winter’s snow TB-295 – same HTD10-T12 (4 vs.)

The Candle of Hope


Lighting of Advent Candle


Reader 1:       Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent means “coming,” and in this season we prepare for the coming of Christ. One of the ways we prepare for his coming is by making an Advent wreath and lighting its candles to remind us of the gifts Christ brings to the world.


Reader 2:       The Advent wreath includes many symbols to help us think about Christ and His gifts. The wreath itself is in the shape of a circle. A circle has no beginning and no end. This reminds us that there is no beginning and no end to God and that God’s love and caring are forever.


Reader 1:       The light from the candles—that grows stronger each Sunday in Advent—reminds us that Jesus is the Light of the World.


Reader 2:       Today we light the candle of hope. The people of Israel hoped in God’s promises and were not disappointed. Again and again God delivered Israel from its enemies. We, too, have the same experience of salvation. That is why we believe in God’s promise to send Jesus to us once again to judge the world and establish His kingdom forever upon the earth. [A person lights the candle of HOPE.]


Reader 1:       Hope is like a light shining in a dark place. As we look at the light of this candle, we celebrate the hope we have in Jesus Christ.


Reader 2:       “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12, ESV).†


Reader 1:       Let us pray: “Thank you, God, for the hope you give us.  We ask that as we wait for all your promises to come true, and for Christ to come again, that you would remain present with us.  Help us today and every day to worship You, to hear your word, and to do your will by sharing your hope with each other. We ask it in

the name of the One who was born in Bethlehem. Amen.”

[Participants return to their seats.]


* Adapted from Gary Lee Waller, Celebrations and Observances of the Church Year (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2009), 89-94.

† Scripture quotations marked ESV are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Anticipate: Church Planning Kit © 2012 by Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, www.AdventExperience.com


HC#220 – Incarnate HC-220 HCD20-T20
                                                      Additional Optional Songs
CF#20 – O Come, Immanuel CF-20 No CD
SB#86 – O little town of Bethlehem TB-156 – same HTD3-T5 (3 vs.)
HC#169 – Hallelujah HC-169 HCD15-T19


The Story of God


Children’s Moment – The Jesse Tree Reading

[The Jesse Tree first appeared several centuries ago as artwork in the church.  In stained-glass windows, the depiction of a Jesse Tree was a way to show and teach the family tree of Jesus.  In recent time, the Jesse Tree has become a family devotional practice during the Advent season to learn God’s story.  The daily practice includes the hanging of an ornament that depicts a scene or symbol associated with the reading of a story from Scripture.  The stories cover the various episodes of the Bible from creation to the birth of Jesus.  The practice is a way for Christians to learn the story of God and learn the importance of Jesus within God’s redemptive history (page 8).  Invite children forward…we suggest that you choose one or two readers along with a couple of children or teens to hang the ornaments on the Jesse Tree.  (For information on making a Jesse Tree and ornaments, see “Jesse Tree” file.)]


Reader:           Today is the first day of the season of Advent, a time where we prepare for the coming of Christ. This Advent season we will prepare by creating a Jesse Tree and hanging ornaments that invite us to retell the story of God’s salvation from the very beginning in Genesis through the coming of Jesus Christ.


We begin by hanging the Jesse Tree ornament which comes with this promise in Isaiah 11:1-3:


“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.”

[Hang the Jesse Tree Ornament (tree)]


Reader:           We hang the ornament of creation to remind us that God’s original plan for all of us was to live in the goodness of God’s presence as a sign of His glory.

[Hang the Creation Ornament (world)]


Reader:           We hang the ornament of humanity’s fall as a sign of our broken relationship with God, the presence of evil in our world, and ultimately our need of God.

[Hang the Fall Ornament (apple)]


Reader:           We hang the ornament of Noah as a reminder that God promised to protect the world from being consumed by a flood again and His loving gift to humanity of a second chance.

[Hang the Noah Ornament (ark)]


Reader:           We hang the ornament of Abraham and Sarah as a reminder that God calls all humans to a life of promise where we walk by faith and not by sight.

[Hang the Abraham and Sarah Ornament (stars)]


Reader:           We hang the Isaac ornament to remind us that God has provided a sacrifice for us in His one and only Son.

[Hang the Isaac Ornament (ram)]


Reader:           We hang the Jacob ornament as a reminder that God will redeem all who submit to His leading in order to fulfill His promises and to submit to God’s leadership is a struggle for all of us.

[Hang the Jacob Ornament (ladder)]


Reader:          We hang the Joseph Ornament as a symbol of God’s provision for His people.

[Hang the Joseph Ornament (sack of grain)]


CF#20 – O Come, Immanuel CF-20 No CD
                                                      Additional Optional Songs
SB#83 – It came upon the midnight clear TB-153 – same HTD9-T7 (3 vs.)
CF#15 – What Child is This? CF-15 No CD
SB#87 – Once in royal David’s city TB-460 – Irby HTD6-T11 (4 vs.)
SB#88 – See, amid the winter’s snow TB-295 – same HTD10-T12 (4 vs.)
HC#45 – While We are Waiting, Come HC-45 HCD3-T15
HC#169 – Hallelujah HC-169 HCD15-T19


Pastoral Prayer


Drama – “Detour Ahead”


Songs of Preparation


Cross references:

Message:  The Song of Isaiah – Isaiah 40:3-5 – Prepare the Way of the Lord


[NOTE:  Isaiah passage of scripture is read during the middle portion of the sermon; put on screen at appropriate time]

Leader:           A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord;
All:                  Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 

Leader:           Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.


All:                  And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together.


Leader:           For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”  (Isaiah 40:3-5, NIV)



HC#123 – Shine on Us HC-123 HCD11-T13
                                                      Additional Optional Songs
HC#186 – When I Look into Your Holiness HC-186 HCD17-T16
HC#179 – Come to Jesus HC-179 HCD16-T19
HC#169 – Hallelujah HC-169 HCD15-T19
HC#139 – There is a Message HC-139 HCD12-T19



[The “reprise” is from the end of the sermon; preacher would do this and pray at the end:

“Isaiah’s song finds us stuck in a bubble and reminds us of the hope that God is coming from the outside.  He will bring something new, something unforeseen but something we all need and would all welcome.

. . .


“And why?  Because ‘the mouth of the Lord has spoken’ and he said that ‘His glory will be revealed (until) all flesh, together, will see it.’”]



SB#79 – Come, thou long-expected Jesus TB-438 – Hyfrydol (2 verses = 1 verse of tune) HTD1-T14 (3 vs.)




SB#85 – O come, all ye faithful 

HC#140 – O Come, All Ye Faithful

TB-552 – Adeste FidelesHC-140 HTD3-T1 (3 vs.) 


                                                      Additional Optional Songs
HC#151 – Fairest Lord Jesus HC-151 HCD14-T11



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