Advent Week 3 - "Two Songs We Sing"



Advent - A Season of Expectation, but also of Readiness

The texts we’ll study for the next few weeks will help us prepare for the change and transformation in the world we all long for.

Today, we will learn about the Gift of Grace we anticipate in Advent.

And we’ll be learning about the two songs the ancient Hebrew people sang during a time of terrible trial and tribulation.

What's your favorite Christmas song, and why?  Let's do a quick survey. 

What are the emotions that these songs evoke for us? 

Nostalgia, Memories, Repetition, and Resolution make a classic Christmas song a classic. 

And this is also why Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas" is a classic.  

Don't hate, appreciate.  Mariah recorded a catchy song that now has nostalgia and memories attached to it, but it has excellent repetition and an acceptable resolution.  

You can also place Kelly Clarkson's "Under the Tree" in this category.  Give it a few years, and it will be one of those classic Christmas songs on your playlist at Christmas parties. 

So what happens when our own songs aren't as catchy? 

What happens when all the songs we sing during this time of year sound more like sad songs than songs of joy or love?

Because there are a lot of us out there who claim to be followers of Jesus, who can't seem to stop singing sad songs.  We've become resigned, jaded, and lacking hope that the world we say we are expecting is actually going to arrive. 

That's what we're going to be talking about today... 

GOD'S GIFT OF GRACE TURNS OUR SAD SONGS INTO LOVE SONGS. 

Psalm 126 is a prayer of "ascents" when returning to the Temple after exile. 

1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of[a] Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.[b]
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

There is a universal effect to what God has done. 

4 Restore our fortunes,[c] Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them. 

There is another song that we should think about at this point.  Psalm 137:1-4

"By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion!' How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?" (Psalm 137:1-4)

This is a song of hopelessness.  There is no hope that they will ever sing again. 

Psalm 126 reflects the impossible ade possible, a restoration. 

Sowing in the face of a threat is an act of faith. 

We sing these two songs, don’t we?  We have seasons when it feels as though we will never sing again. And yet we do. 

Learning To Sing Love Songs Again

1. We do this in community—the expectation of Advent brings us together
2. The joys and sorrows of one—are the joys and sorrows of all. 
3. It takes holy imagination to find our love songs again.  
4. God never stops acting—from the first Advent until now. 

GOD'S GIFT OF GRACE TURNS OUR SAD SONGS INTO LOVE SONGS. 

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