Here are some bits and pieces that might be useful for Advent. Starting with some pictures, and then some hymns.
ADVENT HYMN (would work for late Advent)
Words of the prophets since the world began
So long before salvation’s human birth
Speaking of God’s tremendous loving plan
for heav’n to touch the long-estrangèd earth.
Those ancient words at last began to be
in flesh and skin and bone and blood unfurled
In maiden womb and half-made family –
so heaven stooped to touch a fallen world.
Amongst the stable beasts behind the inn,
the baby’s eyes saw first a mother’s love;
and though their world, like ours, was full of sin,
yet in their gaze the earth met heav’n above.
We cry aloud for peace, goodwill to all,
and for God’s heaven to touch his earth again,
We bend our ears to hear the angels’ call,
and raise our voice to join the great Amen.
ADVENT HYMN (tune: Picardy)
Longing for a hope-filled morning,
Kingdom of the Son, draw near!
Waiting for the day soon dawning,
Light of love that casts out fear.
Dayspring, come from heav’n, in lowly birth,
Come to warm this cold, dark earth.
Sorrow through the world is sweeping,
Bitter conflict rages still,
Heaven hears its children weeping:
cost of humankind’s freewill.
Come, O Price* of Peace, in lowly birth,
Come to mend this broken earth.
Pattern of the world’s salvation,
God and human side by side.
Colour, language, creed or nation,
No more should the world divide:
Come, Emmanuel, in lowly birth,
Show how heav’n embraces earth.
*This word started off as a typo, but I quite like it, as it echoes the ‘cost’ of the previous line… If you use the hymn, you can choose whether to use Price or Prince And thank you to the lovely Uptonpc for suggesting that Price could stay as an option!
ADVENT WREATH SONG
to the tune ‘Father we place into your hands’
Mothers and fathers of the faith, who lived in times of old,
Leaders and judges, kings and queens were faithful, true and bold,
Travelers, heroes, shepherds, all with stories to be told:
Still they show us how to follow you.
Prophets and seers who spoke the truth in answer to your call,
finding new ways to bring your word to people great and small,
living their lives to show your love was meant for one and all,
still they show us how to follow you.
John, in the desert calling out, ‘The Kingdom has come near.’
‘Come and repent, and be baptised, there’s nothing then to fear.’
‘Jesus is coming now, the One you’re waiting for is here.’
Still he shows us how to follow you.
Mother of Jesus, angels called her favoured, full of grace,
Holding the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, in her embrace,
She is the one whose ‘yes’ helped God to save the human race,
still she shows us how to follow you.
And this last verse, for Christmas day, is by my friend and colleague Gill Robertson:
Jesus our Saviour, born a king, we welcome you today,
Lord of all time, Immanuel, with joyful hearts we say:
You are the Christ who came to earth for us; and now we pray,
Help us all to daily follow you.
ADVENT WREATH SONG – connecting the Jesse Tree / Salvation History pathways through Advent and the Advent Sunday theme of being alert and ready. (tune: Sing Hosanna)
There’s a story to tell of creation,
And the patriarchs’ faith of old,
There are stories of prophets and sages,
We’ll repeat them ‘til the world’s been told:
Sing together! sing together!
Sing to welcome in the King of Kings.
Sing together! Sing together!
Sing to welcome in the King.
There are stories of sin and forgiveness,
Of a Kingdom of truth and love.
Of a girl who gave birth to a baby,
To fulfil God’s promise from above:
As God’s people prepare for his coming,
And remember those days long gone,
Our own stories are yet to be written,
As we live to make God’s kingdom come:
We will patiently wait for the morning,
Through the night we will watch and pray,
As we look for the light that is dawning,
We’ll be ready at the break of day: