This Sunday will be a glorious mix of high and low church art, all of it beautiful and moving. The children’s pageant will once again act out the story as our Diverse Musical Traditions Team sings the Gaither song, “Come and See What’s Happenin’ in the Barn!” We are hoping to have fourteen children participate, which is very exciting! The same team will also sing the classic bluegrass Christmas song, “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” which has been recorded by everyone from Ralph Stanley to Emmylou Harris and over four hundred others.
Organist John Atwood will play the haunting Appalachian carol, “I Wonder As I Wander,” to complete the low church art. He will also play two pieces from the baroque high church art department, both by Johann Pachelbel, One of them will be a chorale prelude on the tune that the choir will sing as an Intoit, “From Heaven unto Earth I Come.”
Our congregational hymns will include “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Joy to the World” (the children will sing it with the choir at the end of the Pageant and the congregation will join in at the end) and “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,” as well as the Benediction hymn set to the ancient plainchant Advent tune.
We will light the candle of Joy and read responsively from Psalm 126 and hear Luke 1:39-45 and John 15:9-11. The sermon title will be taken from the John passage, “So That My Joy May Be in You.” We will reflect on what it means to have Christ’s joy in us in very practical terms–it is the peak experience, the highest meaning and pleasure in life, and Christ is very clear that he wants us to experience it to the fullest. Why let anything stand in our way?
To hear two of the pieces of music that will be in the service,
Below is the Pachelbel piece John will play for the postlude, followed by two recordings of “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.”