To aid disciples to become familiar with four (4) hymns that will deepen their understanding of God’s gifts during the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.
Our assumption is that relatively few disciples have a comprehensive understanding of these three seasons. In the history of western Christianity, the four Sundays prior to the observance of Christmas are named the season of Advent (some say today it stands for “the Event,” the gift of God’s son to humankind. During this season, many congregations celebrate by lighting one candle each week (symbolizing joy, hope, peace, and love) prior to lighting the Christ candle. The colors of either purple or blue are associated with Advent. Christmas day is observed with altar clothes and banners of white, or some use red for this festive occasion. Churches that observe the liturgical year next observe the season of Epiphany. Translated as “appearance” or “manifestation,” it refers to humans experienced a divine or supernatural presence. In the Christian tradition, the reference is to Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River by his cousin John with the heavenly announcement that he is the Son. of God. Then, after a period of temptation, Jesus begins his ministry. White is the color for this season.
Unlike many traditional hymns, this set of hymns attempts to connect us to what those who first knew Jesus in human form were experiencing, thinking, and feeling. The Advent hymn, “Awake to Change,” underscores the magnitude of change he would bring. How unexpected his earthly journey. His parents were not wealthy or famous. According to Scripture, those who heralded his birth were shepherds, not political rulers, or social elites. But profound change was to come! Meant for singing at Christmas time, the hymn “Gifts” compares and contrasts the gifts we receive from God to our worldly presents. “Follow the Star” is intended for use at Christmas and Epiphany, recalling the tradition that the magi or wise men found the child they had longed search for. Often forgotten is that not all welcomed the birth of Jesus. “River of Life” reflects upon the meaning of the baptism of Jesus for us. Using water imagery, its text calls us to forego the old and put on new ways of living responsibly.
|Song Title||For use on, with|
|Awake to Change||Advent Season|
|Follow the Star||Christmas, Epiphany|
|River of Life||Epiphany|
Instructions: For your convenience these four(4) hymns are in a downloadable zip file. The collection is available for a limited time for $30.00. You may purchase this collection through this BUY NOW button. [If you would like to sample one of the hymns in the collection, return to the home page and search using any of the titles above.]