- Isaiah 12.6
“Yes, indeed — God is my salvation. I trust, I won’t be afraid. God — yes God! — is my strength and song, best of all, my salvation!” Joyfully you’ll pull up buckets of water from the wells of salvation. And as you do it, you’ll say, “Give thanks to God. Call out his name. Ask him anything! Shout to the nations, tell them what he’s done, spread the news of his great reputation! “Sing praise-songs to God. He’s done it all! Let the whole earth know what he’s done! Raise the roof! Sing your hearts out, O Zion! The Greatest lives among you: The Holy of Israel.”
- Isaiah 12.2-6 (The Message)
We are going to have a unique worship gathering this Sunday! Our 10:30 gathering will feature the music of the Tim Whitmer Consort, a renowned jazz combo from here in KC.
Just now I’m guessing several questions are whirling in your head like Dervishes. Questions like: “Did I read that right?” or, “Why Jazz in worship?” and, “Why this Sunday? This is advent for goodness sake.”
The first question is easily answered: You did read that right. The next two, however, require some explanation. Why jazz in worship? Because jazz is music of rejoicing; one that interprets the many layers of Advent through improvisation on it’s major themes; themes like: awe, praise, joy, and the excitement of those fortunate enough to share in that unique night; shepherds, magi, even animals in their stall!
Finally, why this Sunday? This is because the third Sunday of Advent is a day of rejoicing. After waiting through the December darkness, we reach a point at which the joy of Christmas just has to be anticipated, less we bust with impatience (like a child counting down the endless days until Christmas). This anticipation helps us recognize that it won’t be long before we find our kneeling places in Bethlehem. Traditionally, the third Sunday of Advent has been designated Gaudete Sunday, a day to rejoice. The word gaudete means rejoice, and comes from the first sentence of Christmas mass: “Gaudete, Christus est natus!; rejoice, Christ is born! So we will celebrate gaudete this Sunday; we will praise God through the joyful music of jazz, and we will raise the roof with our singing; in fact, we will sing our hearts out! I hope you will join us, and bring your friends to Overland Park Christian Church this Sunday!