Using contemporary songs to illuminate Scripture and life

Sunday, December 19, 2004

"Four Candles" by Jonathan Rundman (4th Sunday in Advent)

Connect with Scripture: Romans 16:25-27
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

1. What in these verses refer to how God’s people were waiting for the Messiah to come the first time (the First Advent of Christ)?
2. What in these verses reminds us that we are waiting for Jesus to come again (the Second Advent of Christ)?
3. Do these verses give us any ideas about what to do while we wait?

Sound Theology
Today’s Song: “Four Candles” by Jonathan Rundman, from the album, Sound Theology - Disc One)
1. we celebrate a new year
a few weeks before the calendar
we shovel off the sidewalks
unlock all the doors
we're gonna light four candles

2. we get to hang blue paraments
keep those flower vases filled
put up the banner with the trumpets
we serve on the altar guild
we're gonna light four candles

the wait is nearly over

© Jonathan Rundman. Lyrics reprinted by kind permission.

Behind the Music
4. What does this song mention things that happen in the church during Advent?
5. What of these things are done in our congregation to prepare for Christmas?
6. What in this song reminds us that Advent is about waiting for Jesus to come again?
7. Why do you think Jonathan chose such a slow tempo and slightly sad melody for this song? (How does that match some of our Advent hymns)?

Jonathan’s comment on “Four Candles”
My church experience has been filled with Senior Citizens bustling about in various, and mostly behind-the-scenes, congregational duties. I imagine their excitement and anticipation during Advent is unparalleled.

Behind the Music (continued)
8. Why would Jonathan imagine that elderly people might have a been sense of anticipation during Advent? Do you agree?
9. When has a congregational duty helped to have a better sense of what the church was teaching?
10. When could congregational duties become distracting from the real purpose of gathering together in Advent/Christmas?

Jonathan’s Questions to Ponder
How have elderly people impacted your life at church?
Do you have opportunities for intergenerational interaction on a regular basis?

Lyrics, comments, and questions reprinted with the kind permission of Jonathan Rundman.

Click here to find out about Jonathan Rundman or his record label, Salt Lady Records. Click here to read my review of Sound Theology.

Scripture quotations from English Standard Version, Copyright(C) 2000; 2001 by Crossway Bibles. All Rights Reserved.

Jonathan wrote these songs with an eye to the Lutheran Book of Worship appointed readings for each week of the church year but has told me that he does not necessarily connect a specific reading with each song. Therefore, the reading I have selected to use for reflection is my choice and not Jonathan's.