Advent sermon series: Light
week 2: Light Foretold (or Darkness)
Order of worship
O Come All Ye Faithful (Kim Hill version)
welcome… reintroduce series and this week’s theme
(lighting to black)
Genesis 2-3 excerpts (reader in back of room)
“Light of Creation” narration part 1 (sin enters the world)
Lord Have Mercy
“Light of Creation” narration part 2 (the promise of light to come)
O Come O Come Emmanuel (traditional hymn)
Message: Light Foretold
-artist creates images on black canvas under blacklight during message
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus’ (band arr. from hymncharts)
Light was created, chasing away the uncreated darkness… humans were created and offered a beautiful life of freedom and creativity… darkness re-entered the world through a destructive choice. Light of salvation is promised.
We spent most of this service with the lights out in the room. This is rare for our church (specific factors are described here). It’s amazing how this changes the atmosphere, focuses everyone, creates expectation. You can almost hear people quieting themselves.
In darkness, we heard about Adam & Eve’s story of choice and vulnerability. In darkness, 3 high school students spoke beautifully about light and darkness. In darkness, we sang a song of confession, and a song of expectancy.
Then, with a single light on our pastor, we heard about this cycle of darkness & light. And watched as a breathtaking work of performance art was created under a blacklight with paint and canvas, accompanying the progression of the message. A swirl of light became a tree bearing fruit, then was overcome by darkness, then swirled into images of redemption and hope.
It was like an ‘art score’ under the sermon and it was stunning. (I hope to have video that can be shared soon.) There were some beautiful moments… when the artist’s work and the pastor’s words converged completely… watching people of all ages watch the painting… watching the crowd of kids swarm the artist and the painting at the end of the service… realizing my son was drawing his own version of the painting that was being created.
This was the most collaborative worship experience we’ve had in a long time. The actors & director working on the narration… the tech crew… the musicians… and my dear friend Christi who brought her heart, her faith, and her talent to share with the church. Lots of people doing their thing to bring glory to God. I am awed and grateful to have been a part of it.
In the coming weeks, our story continues:
week 3: Light Arrives: Emmanuel…. Light with us.
week 4: Light Bearers: we carry the light into the world