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Advent Sermon: Keep Awake!

Advent_Sermon_-_Keep_Awake_11-27-2011.mp3 Listen on Posterous

Listen to a sermon by the Rev. Daniel Haas commemorating the first Sunday of Advent based on Isaiah 64:1-9 and Mark 13:24-37. It was delivered at Provo Community United Church of Christ on November 27th 2011.

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Oldies but Goldies

Traditionally music was written for church use. The greatest rock stars for most of history wrote the hymns of the day that everybody celebrated as the latest and coolest thing. The book of psalms is like Israel’s best of worship music collection. Today’s psalm 96 explicitly encourages: “Sing a new song to the LORD!”

Johann Sebastian Bach was a hero to his contemporaries as was John Wesley to his. At some point all of this changed. When was it ever decided that church music must be two generations old before it can be called any good?
When did the church decide to no longer be the driving force of the music industry?

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Mizmor Shir L’yom HaShabbat

Psalm 92: This psalm is a song written for use on the Sabbath, the day for rest and worship. It celebrates God’s goodness and righteousness. Many of the psalms were intended to be sung as part of the worship in the temple in Jerusalem. How are psalms used in your community of faith?

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My communal lord and savior

Have you ever heard people say “Jesus is my personal lord and savior”.
That is nowhere to be found in the entire Bible.
Psalm 66 is actually a very good example of the parallelism of communal and personal devotion. Look at this great analysis from enterthebible.org:

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Harvest Festival

Thanksgiving
Between Germany’s Erntedank and America’s Thanksgiving there are plenty of harvest festivals around the world.
Psalm 65 is a great song for the occasion:
10 You send abundant rain on the plowed fields and soak them with water; you soften the soil with showers and cause the young plants to grow.
11 What a rich harvest your goodness provides! Wherever you go there is plenty.
12 The pastures are filled with flocks; the hillsides are full of joy.
13 The fields are covered with sheep; the valleys are full of wheat. Everything shouts and sings for joy.