Second Sunday of Advent
The prophets spoke of Jesus Christ, telling us that He, the light, would one day come, and the glory of the Lord would rise upon us.
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven” (Luke 2:13).
It’s Advent, the time of waiting that leads up to Christmas Day. During this season, carols play a huge part in the life of the church. So the next three Pastor-to-People will tell the story behind three different carols.
I’ve asked Arthur Harris to write about his favorite carol, “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne.” Arthur is a faithful member of our church, a (now retired) educator and musician, and a member of the choir. He writes:
This hymn, usually associated with Christmas, was written in 1876. I loved hymns from an early age, and when I was a child, I would sing this one with my parents at 5:00 a.m in the morning during Christmas services!
The carol captures the wonder of Christmas. Just imagine: the Son of God, Jesus, of the line of King David, was actually born in a stable! The dichotomy between royalty and the stable is an illogical wonder only made logical through God’s redemption plan. Deity became flesh in order to redeem us. No wonder, as the carol says, “Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang, proclaiming Thy royal degree; but of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth, and in great humility.”
The inconsistency between Christ’s “kingly crown” and his cross becomes blunt when we pull sections of verses 1 and 4 together:
· Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown when Thou camest to earth for me;
· But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn they bore Thee to Calvary.
The hymn records four major events in Christ’s life: His birth, death, resurrection, and second coming. All four are filled with contradictions and paradoxes. For me, these wonderful paradoxes call for more than simply celebrating Christ’s birth. They call us to accept the gift of pardon made through his death and resurrection. That’s why the carol concludes with this prayer: O come to my heart, Lord Jesus—there is room in my heart for Thee!
Adult Ed: Theology Class will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Library.
Adult Ed: 1 Corinthians Class will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Adult Ed room.
Stone Hill Arts presents a Christmas Choir Concert: At 6:30 p.m. we will have a service of Lessons & Carols. The concert is free and open to the public. Enjoy refreshments after the concert. Come and bring a friend!
Inclement Weather Policy: As we move into winter please be aware of our snow policy.
· During the week, if Princeton Public Schools are closed, the church and church office will be closed. If Princeton Public Schools are on delay, the church and church office will have a delayed opening at 10 am. Status of evening events will be decided by noon and posted on the website http://stonehillprinceton.org/.
· On the weekend (including Sunday Services) status of events and the Sunday service will be posted by 7:30 a.m. If church is cancelled a notice will be posted on the church website, on Facebook, and a message on the church phone. If there is no posting or message we will see you at church!
Parking at Christmas: As we move toward Christmas, it is nice to see our services get fuller and fuller. Unfortunately, this complicates our already crowded parking lot for the 9:30 a.m. service. This past Sunday we ran out of parking spaces. We had 15 cars parked at our Satellite Parking Lot (800 Bunn Drive), but we need at least 30 cars parked there. The weather may be colder, but our shuttle van is heated!! Shuttle runs from 8:50 a.m. to 9:35 a.m.; 10:40 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.; after the choir anthem at the 2nd service and from 12:20 p.m. to about 12:45 p.m.
Recovery/Support Group Facilitators Needed: NO experience necessary! Do you have a heart for those in deep pain? Have you learned valuable lessons and experienced healing from losses and deep wounds of the heart? Would you like to help others to do the same? If so, please contact Amy Hellesen at 201-317-5629 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about being a group facilitator for DivorceCare which starts February 3, 2018. Training is provided.