Rise, Shine, Your Light Has Come!

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How Lovely Shines the Morning Star

One of the very finest hymns ever written is “How Lovely Shines the Morning Star,” Pastor Philip Nicolai’s masterpiece. Sadly, most hymnals do not provide a complete translation of this 16th century German hymn. The version we base today’s service upon provides all seven stanzas. These additional stanzas bring to light the clear references to the Lord’s Supper and the Means of Grace. Jesus, the Morning Star, shines into our lives through these means.

Isaiah 60:1-6, New International Version

1“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
4 “Lift up your eyes and look about you:
All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters are carried on the hip.
5 Then you will look and be radiant,
your heart will throb and swell with joy;
the wealth on the seas will be brought to you,
to you the riches of the nations will come.
6 Herds of camels will cover your land,
young camels of Midian and Ephah.
And all from Sheba will come,
bearing gold and incense
and proclaiming the praise of the Lord.

Video of full service
https://youtu.be/XSgBq9D3v80

How lovely shines the Morning Star!
The nations see and hail afar
The light in Judah shining.
Thou David’s Son of Jacob’s race,
My Bridegroom and my King of Grace,
For Thee my heart is pining.
Lowly, Holy,
Great and glorious, Thou victorious
Prince of graces,
Filling all the heavenly places.

O highest joy by mortals won,
True Son of God and Mary’s Son,
Thou high-born King of ages!
Thou art my heart’s most beauteous Flower,
And Thy blest Gospel’s saving power
My raptured soul engages.
Thou mine, I Thine;
Sing hosanna! Heavenly manna
Tasting, eating,
Whilst Thy love in songs repeating.

Now richly to my waiting heart,
O Thou, my God, deign to impart
The grace of love undying.
In Thy blest body let me be,
E’en as the branch is in the tree,
Thy life my life supplying.
Sighing, Crying.
For the savor of Thy favour;
Resting never,
Till I rest in Thee forever.

A pledge of peace from God I see
When Thy pure eyes are turned to me
To show me Thy good pleasure.
Jesus, Thy Spirit and Thy Word,
Thy body and Thy blood, afford
My soul its dearest treasure.
Keep me kindly
In Thy favour, O my Saviour!
Thou wilt cheer me;
Thy Word calls me to draw near Thee.

Thou, mighty Father, in Thy Son
Didst love me ere Thou hadst begun
This ancient world’s foundation.
Thy Son hath made a friend of me,
And when in spirit Him I see,
I joy in tribulation.
What bliss is this!
He that liveth to me giveth
Life forever;
Nothing me from Him can sever.

Lift up the voice and strike the string.
Let all glad sounds of music ring
In God’s high praises blended.
Christ will be with me all the way,
Today, tomorrow, every day,
Till traveling days be ended.
Sing out, ring out
Triumph glorious, O victorious,
Chosen nation;
Praise the God of your salvation.

Oh, joy to know that Thou, my Friend,
Art Lord, Beginning without end,
The First and Last, Eternal!
And Thou at length, O glorious grace!
Wilt take me to that holy place,
The home of joys supernal.
Amen, Amen!
Come and meet me! Quickly greet me!
With deep yearning
Lord, I look for Thy returning.

Comfort Quickly

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Prepare the Way of the Lord! Prepare by Repentance

John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ by preaching repentance. We also prepare our hearts as we wait for Jesus to return.

Isaiah 40:1-5
Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord[a];
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.[b]
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

All Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™

Find Pasture On Every Barren Hill

The Holy One of Israel has chosen you.  While Lent is a season of repentance, the Sundays in Lent can be thought of as “mini-easters.”  Today we meditate on the truth that, unworthy though we are, the Mighty Lord has chosen and called us to be his own.  We who trust in the blood of Jesus are children of the promise.  While not children of Israel by blood, we are the spiritual children of Israel.

Isaiah 49:5-9

And now the Lord says—
    he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
    and gather Israel to himself,
for I am[a] honored in the eyes of the Lord
    and my God has been my strength—
he says:
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
    to restore the tribes of Jacob
    and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
    that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

This is what the Lord says—
    the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel—
to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation,
    to the servant of rulers:
“Kings will see you and stand up,
    princes will see and bow down,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

Restoration of Israel

This is what the Lord says:

“In the time of my favor I will answer you,
    and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
    and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’
    and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’

“They will feed beside the roads
    and find pasture on every barren hill.

The Promised Warrior

Ash Wednesday, 2020

Isaiah 42:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 The Lord will march out like a champion,
    like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;
with a shout he will raise the battle cry
    and will triumph over his enemies.

Look! The Servant of the Lord

As a new year dawns on us, many resolutions have already gone by the wayside.  In weakness we often forget or don’t have the self control to stick with it.  This is because we are sinful.  However, this year, as in years past we are still children of God.  We are baptized into Jesus, who came to take up all our weakness and failures.

Isaiah 42:1-4 New International Version (NIV)

The Servant of the Lord

42 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
    or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

Advent Wednesday 2, 2019

Isaiah 9:6 New International Version (NIV)

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

City of Peace

Right now we fight the good fight, and run the race laid out for us as a part of the church militant. Today we remember those who are in the church triumphant, right now, with the Lord at the marriage feast of the Lamb.