Zion Christmas Cantata & Narration

ZION CANTATA
December 18, 2011
________________________________________________

Prelude

Narrator
Have you noticed how fast the days are going? When the holidays approach, the days fly by. More presents to buy, cookies to bake, decorations to be hung… in all the hustle and bustle, there is not enough time in the day – the day of Christmas is coming!

All this work for one day. The ancient prophets spoke of a Day, a Day that would bring rest instead of weariness, a Day of peace amidst war and strife, and a Day of beauty and glory far away from our gray and dreary days on earth. But when will this day come? And what does Christmas have to do with this Day?

On This Day, Earth Shall Ring

Narrator
What wonderful sounds: “gloria in excelsis Deo!” Glory to God in the highest! Surely there are few things sweeter to hear.

Can you imagine keeping watch with the shepherds as they watched their flocks by night? Can you contain your awe and excitement, as the air around them begins to tremble with a heavenly power. But wait a minute! Do you hear that? What is that sound? It sounds like the most beautiful voices ever assembled, a swirling of the melodies and harmonies of glory. Behold! A light in darkened night sky!  Let joy fill our hearts!

All My Heart This Night Rejoices

When Emmanuel Has Come

Narrator
Emmanuel has come, and we will never be the same.
“Let us, like these good shepherds, then employ
Our grateful voices to proclaim the joy
Look now! the Babe, who has retrieved our loss
From His poor manger to His bitter cross
Trusting His pow’r, assisted by His grace
Till man’s restored to His glorious place.
Then may we hope, the angelic thrones among
To sing, redeemed, a glad triumphal song
He that was born upon this joyful day
Around us all His glory shall display
Saved by His grace, incessant we shall sing
Eternal praise to Christ, almighty King.”[1]

While By My Sheep

Alleluias

O Holy Night

Narrator

“Before there was a universe,
Before a star or planet,
When time had still not yet begun –
I scarcely understand it –
Th’ eternal Word was with his God,
God’s very Self-Expression;
Th’ eternal Word was God himself –
And God had planned redemption.

The Word became our flesh and blood –
The stuff of his creation –
The Word was God, the Word was flesh,
Astounding incarnation!
For grace and truth in fullness came
And showed the Father’s glory
When Jesus donned our flesh and died:
This is the gospel story.

Here will I stay in grateful trust;
Here will I fix my vision.
From God’s own grace I was so thrust
To be called God’s own children.
Before there was a universe,
Before a star or planet,
When time had still not yet begun –
I scarcely understand it –
Th’ eternal Word was with his God,
God’s very Self-Expression;
Th’ eternal Word was God himself –
And God had planned redemption.”[2]

Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Narrator
Christmas is here! And the Christ child is born! Salvation is created! Sin, death and darkness are conquered- so joy the world! And glory to God in the highest. Let us go together to city of David, to Bethlehem, as we worship King Jesus. May you and your loved ones have a happy – and holy – Christmas!

Once in Royal David’s City
__________________________________________

Invitation to Candlelight Service
John 1:4 – 9
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

Jesus is the light that shines.

God once spoke, “Let there be light,” but that created world has been marred by sin, curse, and injustice.

At Christmas, God spoke once again for Light. Jesus says, “I AM the light of the world.” He says, “I am making all things new.”

Do not default on your covenant Lord! Walk in the Light, as He is in the light.

__________________________
Footnotes
[1] John Byrom (1692-1763) “Christians Awake! Salute The Happy Morn”
[2] Adapted from D.A. Carson’s Sonnet on the Incarnation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s