Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
[Psalm 95: 1–7a]
I find it hard to believe that tomorrow is the first Sunday in Advent! In many ways the year seems to have been long and strange; in another, we seem to have arrived here very quickly. These words from Psalm 95 remind me of some of the expectation and waiting of the season. They speak of coming before God in thanksgiving, bowing down in worship of our Creator, and they evoke images of the shepherds and the Magi kneeling before the infant Jesus, kneeling before the Creator of the world.
As we start our season of waiting, let us remind ourselves what we are waiting for. We wait in anticipation, waiting for the coming of our Creator into creation, that we may worship and give thanks. We wait, knowing that we are sheep in God’s flock, that God is the rock in whom we are safe. We wait to remember and celebrate the first coming of our God, and in expectation for our God to return once more.
Whilst we cannot join to sing hymns together, there are many beautiful Advent hymns that we can sing by ourselves. Hymns such as ‘Hills of the north rejoice’ by Charles Oakley, ‘Long ago prophets knew’ by Fred Pratt Green, and ‘Come thou long expected Jesus’ by Charles Wesley, are just some of the wonderful tunes to sing. Look them up in your hymn book or search them online, and look at the words – or even sing along.
Come, thou long expected Jesus –
our Rock, our Salvation, our Great Shepherd.
Come, that we may sing for joy –
that we may kneel and worship you, our Creator.
We wait in longing and expectation –
come, Lord Jesus, we pray.