Strictly speaking, Advent does not begin until after sundown tonight. However, it would be remiss of me not to give another plug to our Advent Carol Service, which is tomorrow evening (Sun) at 6pm.
The service will be a beautiful sequence of music and readings for Advent, and an ideal moment to take some time aside from the frenetic activity that December normally brings.
I offer today a sneak preview of one of the pieces that our choir will sing tomorrow evening, E'en so, Lord Jesus by American composer Paul Manz (1919-2009).
The Text: An adaptation by Ruth Manz of verses from Revelation 22. The piece was composed in 1953 during a time when their three-year-old son was critically Of that time Ruth Manz, said "I think we'd reached the point where we felt that time was certainly running out so we committed it to the Lord and said, 'Lord Jesus quickly come'".
The Music: Written by Ruth's husband, Paul, the composition of this piece began at their ill son's bedside. Fortunately their son recovered, and both felt it was an answer to fervent prayer.
This piece draws our attention to the two-fold character of Advent: expectation for the coming of Christ at Christmas, but also for his second coming when he will come again in power and great glory to judge the world. The author of the text in the last verse emphasises the light Christ will bring at the second coming, a light so bright that it will banish all darkness.
Peace be to you and grace from him
Who freed us from our sins,
Who loved us all and shed his blood
That we might saved be.
Sing holy, holy to our Lord,
The Lord, Almighty God,
Who was and is and is to come;
Sing holy, holy, Lord!
Rejoice in heaven, all ye that dwell therein,
Rejoice on earth, ye saints below,
For Chirst is coming, is coming soon!
E'en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come, And night shall be no more; they need no light nor lamp nor sun, For Christ will be their all.