Over the past few months, the Responsive Arts Leaders of Missio have come together to develop this guide. Our ministry exists to facilitate the church in responding to the proclamation of the Gospel. This Advent season, we’ll be remembering the story of Christ’s coming, and together, we’ll look froward to the day He comes again. As we gather to do this, it’s our hope and intent that you would be encouraged in the truth of God’s narrative. In order to help you engage with the songs, readings, and teachings of our weekend gatherings, we beseech you- use this guide!
We’ve laid it out in a way that each week you can spend time alone or with a small group (family worship!) worshipping and focusing in preparation for our gatherings. This year, we’ll be using the Apostle John’s account of the Advent story, but we’ve provided you with multiple other biblical and non-biblical references to help provide context, and to center your spirit. The purpose of this is to equip you - we want to remind you that when we gather together, you’re not coming as a congregant simply to receive. While we sing, you are reminding the brothers and sisters around you of the Story they get to be a part of. You’re reminding them of the Gospel! What a privilege to proclaim the truth in song and word to those around you on Sunday morning.
As I write this, I’m praying for you, and for our church. I’m praying that God would bless this guide and the time that you spend with it. I’m praying that this year, yet again, He would bestow in you the wonder and joy that accompanies the truth that God has become man, lived a life we never could, died a death we never would, and has resurrected in a way that only He is capable of- and it’s all for His glory and our joy!
May you spend time in the coming weeks Praising God for His incredible work of mercy and redemption through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
— Tanner Daniels and the Responsive Arts team of Missio Dei Church
Advent I: A Light Shines in the Darkness
While reading and considering this opening portion of scripture, our team highlighted three central themes: Creation & Life, Light & The Word, and Victory Foretold. After you’ve spent some time reading and considering this passage, we would encourage you to review the other passages listed below, as they help provide context and parallel John is capturing in his retelling.
*Pro tip: Don’t just read the singular passage listed, read around it, as well!
Songs to Accompany the Study:
The Maker of the Sun and Moon • Jenny and Tyler • Christmas Stories
From the Rising of the Sun (Psalm 113) • Sandra McCracken • Psalms
The Light Came Down • Josh Garrels • The Light Came Down
Oh Lord, You are my Light • Emerald Hymns • Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
The Lord is my Salvation • Shane and Shane • Hymns, Vol. 1
May you Find a Light • Josh Garrels • The Light Came Down
Ways you can pray:
Begin by thanking God for the beauty of creation, and His graces expressed in our experience of it.
Spend some time remembering the story of our origin. Call to mind the power, creativity, and omnipotence that God puts on display in this act.
Finish by asking God to produce joy, hope, motivation, endurance, and satisfaction in you as you remember the truth of humanity’s narrative - the fact that God was completely whole, satisfied, and of worth without us and yet in His grace, He’s invited us to experience the glory of existing in eternal communion with Him.
Advent II: Prophecy
While reading through and considering this passage, the big words that stood out to us were “bear” and “witness”.
▶︎ To bear something is to carry it. It also communicates action to transport, convey, or conduct oneself in a particular manner.
▶︎ To witness something is to serve as evidence of its existence, and/or to experience it personally.
To compound upon last weeks reading, we would encourage you to consider the ways in which you can bear witness of the Light, and more particularly, of Christ’s coming - both as a child, and the day that He will come again in Glory to claim His own and usher creation into a new existence.
Questions to consider:
How do you carry the truth of theGospel with you daily?
How do you serve others as evidence of the Gospel?
Do you live in a way that is looking forward to Christ’s return?
if so, how so?
if not, why not?
It’s our prayer that in light of each of these questions, you would remember the overarching narrative that is taking place. We are called to live as John - to live as humble witnesses of the Light! Humble witnesses of Christ Jesus and His story of redemption - The Gospel! (Matthew 28, “The Great Commission”)
That being said, we inevitably fail at what God has called us to. Despite our striving, we can’t live up to the standard Jesus has set.
But because of God’s great love, and His desire to be in communion with His people, He gives us the righteousness that Christ has earned. The perfect record that Jesus lived out on Earth is accounted to us through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
It’s our hope and prayer that the knowledge and experience of that story would motivate you to continue in the struggle towards faithfully, humbly bearing witness of the Light.
Ways you can pray:
Express your thanks to, and bless God for his provision in Christ - for Jesus is both the light, and the power for us to boldly proclaim witness of the Light.
Ask the Holy Spirit to continue His work of sanctification in you, and for Him to continue creating opportunities to bear witness to those around you.
Ask God to remind you often of the promise of Christ’s return. Ask that the knowledge of that would have effectual power here and now for you and your ministry.
Songs to Accompany the Study:
Go Tell it on the Mountain • Penny & Sparrow • Christmas Songs
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus • Shane and Shane • A Worship Initiative Christmas
Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel • Josh Garrels • The Light Came Down
Psalm 34 (Taste and See) • Shane and Shane • Psalms, vol. II
Hear the Sound • Ascend the Hill • O Ransomed Son
As Long as I live (Psalm 63) • The Sing Team • Oh! Great is Our God!