Summary: An ushering in of the advent season by a Hanging of the Green service
November 25, 2007
“Preparing the Way”
A Hanging of the Green Service
“See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire will come,” says the Lord Almighty.”
Of all the seasons of the church, the Christmas season is one of our favorites. The blessed coming of the Christ Child, Who we have come to know as Savior and Lord, is an awesome celebration of life given through having a relationship with Almighty God through Christ. Today we begin the season of Advent by reminding ourselves of the birth of Christ, the hope of His return and the joy and excitement of His presence in each of us. Each of the decorations we present this morning speak of the many special symbols of the season.
Sing Hymn – O come, O come Emmanuel
?Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming
(Music plays as the poinsettias are carried and in and narration is being read)
Our first decoration is the poinsettia. (Two poinsettias – placed on each side of the altar table -) This beautiful plant has a cluster of small yellow flowers that spring forth from among crimson leaves. The star shaped formation of the red leaves suggests the guiding star of Bethlehem. The crown of yellow flowers reminds us of Him who was born the infant King. The blood red leaves foreshadow the cruel cross that lay ahead for the King of Glory.
“The Holly and the Ivy” (played as wreath is brought in)
God’s timelessness and His eternal plan of salvation and His endless mercy are represented by the wreath. Its color of green speaks of the hope we have in God. The “evergreen” color also denotes eternal life that we are granted when we come to know Christ as our Lord and Savior.
“Come on Ring those Bells” ( Congregation sing)
(When the reading begins bells are placed on the altar table.)
Bells are a signal for people to gather together for worship. The joyful ringing of the bells is undeniably associated with Christmas, reminiscent of the birth that changed the world for all time.
THE ADVENT WREATH AND CANDLES
“The Light of the World is Jesus”
One of the most beautiful and meaningful traditions of the Christmas season is the lighting of the advent candles. Each Sunday for the four Sundays before Christmas a candle is lit. Each candles is representative a one of the promises that Scripture gives us about life as a Child of the King.
The first three candles are purple, representative of royalty welcoming the Advent of the King.
(Candle is placed in the holder)
The first candle is the candle of Expectation or Hope. It draws our attention the anticipation of the coming of a Messiah.
Sing 1st verse of “The Light of the World is Jesus
The Second candle represents Peace. Peace, the priceless gift that Christ gives to all who are willing to place their trust and faith in Him. Peace that is far beyond our understanding in the face of the trials and heartaches of this world. Jesus the Prince of Peace, one our most treasured gifts.
Sing 2nd Verse of “The Light of the World is Jesus)
The Third Candle is the candle of Joy. It reminds us of the deep seated assurance that Someone loves and understands who we are and what we face each day. Joy, which is unspeakable and full of grace and glory because Christ lives within each of us.
Sing 3rd Verse of “The Light of the World is Jesus”
The fourth candle is the candle of love. The light of this pink candle is meant to remind us of the love that God has for each one of us. I John 4:9 says, “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”
Sing the Chorus of “The Light of the World is Jesus”
THE CHRIST CANDLE
The center candle, which is called the Christ candle, is lit on Christmas Eve. The central location of the Christ Candle reminds us that the incarnation, the manifestation of God in Christ, is the heart of the season, giving light to the world. The light reminds us that Jesus comes into the darkness of our lives to bring newness, life, and hope. Most significantly, the lighting of the Christ candle reminds us that Jesus has indeed come and is amongst us. The Messiah was indeed born into the world and walked among the people of the earth sharing the news of Salvation in Him.
Sing Emanuel 2 times