Sunday, December 20, 2009
A Christmas Cantata at Tinney Chapel
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Arise Shine! Your Light Has Come.
Today's Advent Service featured lighting of the Advent Candle of Love, a messianic prophecy sermon and a Christmas Cantata titled "Arise Shine! Your Light Has Come," the latter by the Tinney Chapel quintessential choir, directed by Nan Newton Williams.
The Cantata, based in part on Isaiah 60:1, tells the Nativity story through the eyes of fictitious Bible characters who are lampmakers in Bethlehem at the time of Jesus' birth. Bottom line: All those who saw Him, and believed, were seeking Him, searching for Him.
Among the songs: "Arise, Shine," "Emmanuel," "Run With Torches," "Little Lamb," "What Child Is This," "O Holy Night!" and "Light Of The World, concluding with a carol medley.
Molly Mathis played the piano, assisted by Gailya Gearner, and Cheryl Ann Newton narrated the Cantata.
The Advent Candle of Love was lighted by Roger & Sharon Schneider, including Scripture and a reading by Roger.
Pastor Sue Gross chose the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) text of Micah 5:1-5a as the text for this week's sermon, which she titled "Joy To The World: O Little Town Of Bethlehem."
This Scripture, said Pastor Sue, prophesied the Messiah's birthplace, Bethlehem, 750 years before the actual event of Jesus' birth: "The Creator of man was to become man," added the Pastor. "The Messiah was not only to be divine, but also to be human.
As a man, Jesus wept at Lazarus' tomb, but as God, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
"As a man, Jesus died on the Cross, but as God Jesus rose from the dead.
"As a man, Jesus was thirsty, but as God Jesus walked on water."
Bethlehem was, in this sermon, characterized as a city of mystery, a city named both for bread and for fruitfulness, conditions not unrelated to New Testament descriptions of Jesus as the Bread of Life and the True Vine.