The Next Step Podcast
Season 3: Light in the Darkness
Episode 3: Emmanuel
Date: 5 December 2020
Guests: Musician Brendan Knorp
& Visual Faith™ Ministry Artist Ann Gillaspie

Also available on: iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon Music.

In this episode of the Next Step Podcast, musician Brendan Knorp and Visual Faith™ Ministry Artist Ann Gillaspie join author Justin Rossow to talk about the text, the music, and the art in Chapter 3: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel from the resource Light in the Darkness: A Hymn Journal for Advent & Christmas.

Before this episode gets quite off the ground, Justin gets to ask Brendan about the origins of the A Light in the Darkness CD, now available on your favorite streaming services as well as on YouTube. It turns out, Brooke and Brendan have been making Advent music together for years!

As part of that introduction, you’ll also hear Brendan talk about his role in formatting the hymn and songs for the Hymn Journal series from Next Step Press and how meaningful it was to see his work on music layout become the backdrop for artwork in our online community.

After that opening discussion, Justin will pray and Brendan will read the Zephaniah 3 passage on page 25 of the hymn journal. Zephaniah 3 is a key verse for Chapter 7 of the book Delight! Discipleship as the Adventure of Loving and Being Loved by Justin Rossow. You can hear the author read that chapter, titled “He Will Rejoice Over You With Singing,” beginning with the podcast Songs of Belonging:

Ann, Brendan, and Justin will highlight some of their take-aways from that Zephaniah 3 reading before Justin turns the page to the devotion, titled “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel.”

After we listen to the first two verses of the song “Emmanuel” from Brooke and Brendan, Justin gets to ask some more specific questions about the development of this song and it’s unique guitar accompaniment. Brendan mentions the unique guitar tuning required by the piece (available here for those interested) and talks a little but about how the song evolved over the years, mentioning the recent video, below.

Brooke and Brendan perform “Emmanuel” in 2020.

After we hear the last verse of the song, Justin and Ann explore about the O Antiphon Bible Margins project starting on page 29 of the hymn journal. This isn’t the first time Ann has brought her gift for Bible Margins to a hymn journal. You can read more about how you might use or adapt this faith practice in Ann’s blog.

Before we’re done, you’ll hear our guests talk about what small next step Jesus may be inviting them to take this week. Justin mentions, almost in passing, that the early Christian Creed talk about the first coming of Jesus to Bethlehem and Nazareth in terms of his Second Coming in glory. You can find a careful exploration of that claim in his 2006 article in The Concordia Journal: “If Jesus ‘Came Down from Heaven,’ Where Does That Leave Me?”

This podcast is designed especially to go with the Light in the Darkness Facebook learning community sponsored by Next Step Press. Join us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/AdventHymnJournal.

Getting ready for Christmas and the New Year is a great time for you to make a commitment to the mission of resourcing next step discipleship. Please consider becoming a Next Step Patron today. To see different options for support, visit https://www.patreon.com/findmynextstep. Patrons make it possible.

Brendan Knorp also appeared on Season 1, Episode 10 “This Dust” of the Next Step Podcast. Ann Gillaspie was our guest for Season 1, Episode 11 “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” and Season 2, Episode 3 “How Firm A Foundation.”

The intro and outro music for Season 3: Light in the Darkness was arranged and performed by Brendan Knorp. The music included in the podcast was written and performed by Brooke and Brendan. All rights reserved.

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