December 6, 2020

Longing for Jesus

Bible Text: Matthew 1:18-25 |

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I recall, as a young boy, hearing the powerful voices of Mario Lanza and Tennessee Ernie Ford belting out classic Christmas carols from our record player. I put those vinyl albums on the turntable so many times that I’m surprised we didn’t wear them out. Elvis’ Blue Christmas too, I should say. The words of the well-known Christmas songs were etched into my memory as a result. The story of hope and light that came at the Nativity lifted my spirit long before I became a Christian. There is such joy in these carols. In the midst of darkness and discouragement, by simply hearing these lyrics and the oh-so-familiar melodies, we can feel the hope that came when Christ was born. 

As we approach this Christmas—a Christmas that comes amidst a global pandemic, inevitable restrictions on our family gatherings, and churches struggling to have in-person gatherings—it becomes that much more important for us to fill our homes with joy and with songs. (Here’s a Spotify playlist that will help with that.)

The darkness seems that much deeper this year. Depression, isolation, boredom, worry, and fear are gripping many. The prescription for our common ailment is song. 

And so, for the three Sundays leading up to Christmas, we will look at three Christmas carols that point us to our longing for, surrender to, and praise of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. We’ll look at how Joseph, Jesus’ father, the Magi, the shepherds, Gabriel, and the angelic hosts of heaven reacted to being part of God’s grand plan to save us. And in their reactions, we’ll see a template for our own. Following each of the messages, as we respond to what we have heard from the Word, the worship team will sing the featured Christmas song.

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Sermon Notes

With Joy and With Songs
Longing for Jesus
Matthew 1:18-25 / Joseph
Todd Dugard

December 6, 2020

There is a Jesus-instilled longing in my heart that compels me to…

…see the plight of my life without him (v. 18-19)

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave

…hear what he says to me in his Word (v. 20)

…grasp the hope he offers (v. 21-23)

O come, Thou Day-Spring Come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here

And open wide our heavenly home
Make safe the way that leads on high

From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave

...exercise life-changing belief in his name (v. 24-25)

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel