On Wednesdays in Advent, Immanuel offers two services. The first is at 1 pm in the sanctuary (lunch is offered at 11:45 pm in Fellowship Hall). The second Advent service starts at 7 pm in the smaller chapel, where we will use Holden Evening Prayer; this has been a great new tradition and we encourage everyone to give it a try. Our advent series theme this year will be, “What Child is This.” Throughout the season of Advent, we will gradually add to our Christmas decorations in the Sanctuary, with the full reveal taking place on Christmas Eve.
The birth of a certain child two thousand years ago in Bethlehem prompted a poet in the nineteenth century to ask a very uncommon question in a hymn: “What Child Is This?” It was an uncommon question because it asked about the birth of a very uncommon child.
What Child Is This? The angel who announced this child’s birth on Christmas Eve answered the question this way: “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” The hymn-writer answered it this way: “This, this is Christ the king.” They both want to make known the identity of this child.
The goal of this series is to set before the hearer the unmatched blessing of the Lord’s incarnation. Our hymn helps us in this regard by making connections that we might not otherwise make. The sermon series draws upon the themes of Holy Scripture and teaches us to appreciate the full range of blessings that are ours through faith in the child who is God from before the foundations of the world, and how was born of the Virgin Mary. Confronted and comforted by this reality, with penitent and hope-filled hearts, we join to sing: “Haste, haste to bring Him laud,” “Hail, hail the Word made flesh,” and “Joy, joy, for Christ is born, the babe, the son of Mary!”