Hanging of the Green 2016
Hanging of the Green
Call to Worship #100 - Angels We Have Heard on High” (st.1,3,4)
Responsive Call to Worship:
______________: This morning, we come together to prepare for the birthday of our King.
People: Today, we make ready our welcome for God's only Son, Jesus of Nazareth.
______________: We begin this special and holy season of Advent, the going toward the birth of Christ.
People: As we renew the special meaning of the Advent season, the season of going toward new hope and eternal life.
______________: Let us clear our minds and open our hearts to the coming of our Lord:
People: Let us also honor His birth by adorning our Church for the coming of our King;
______________: Let our songs and symbols represent our personal rededication to the glory of God and the manifestation of His love through His Son, Jesus Christ.
All: "For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
Narration-1: CHANGING THE SCARVES
Debbie Crowder: The color for Advent is purple, a change from the green of the ordinary part of the Christian year. Purple has traditionally been the primary color of Advent, symbolizing repentance and fasting. Purple is also the color of royalty, demonstrating the anticipation and reception of the coming King celebrated during Advent.
Carol # 76 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel st.1,4 (Change scarves during song)
Narration-2: THE ADVENT WREATH AND CANDLES
Mike Hazelwood: The celebration of Christ's birth draws near. The four Sundays just before Christmas will prepare us for the celebration of His coming. We will use the Advent Wreath in the sanctuary as we focus our attention on the Christ event.
The circle of the wreath represents eternity - God was, and is, and always will be. In the circle formed by the wreath, four candles are placed. Each of the four candles represents one week in Advent. The colors of the Advent candles have much symbolism. The color of the three purple candles symbolizes the coming of Christ from the royal line of David. He is coming as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The pink candle symbolizes our joy as we celebrate the birth of Christ. And, finally, in the center of the wreath sits the Christ Candle which will be lit at our candlelight service.
Patricia Hazelwood: The progression in the lighting of the candles symbolizes our Christmas waiting experience. - The First Candle is the Candle of Hope. The second candle is the Candle of Peace. The third candle is the pink Candle of Joy. The fourth candle is the Candle of Love. At the Candlelight service we will light the Christ Candle symbolizing that the Light that has come into the world, and worshippers rejoice over the fact that the promises of long ago have been realized.
Today we light the first Advent candle of the season, the candle of Hope. We light this candle to remind us that our hope is in Jesus and to watch for His return.
(LIGHT THE PURPLE CANDLE)
Carol # 77 COME, THOU LONG-EXPECTED JESUS Congregation
Narration-3: THE EVERGREENS
Shirley Beaton: Today, we come to dress-up the church and hear of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are preparing for a birthday, an occasion of joy, but it is a season of holy joy. Isaiah 9:6 says: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Jerry Beaton: The evergreens are fresh in their color, fresh in their fragrance. How long they have symbolized the Christ who is everlasting and eternally the same. Yet even earlier Isaiah proclaimed in Isaiah 60:13: "The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the fir tree, the pine, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious." The greenery we use should never be thought of as merely decorative. We should think of it as symbolic of the everlasting gift given at Christmas signifying a blessing both in our homes and the church.
Carol #89 "O Come All Ye Faithful"
Narration-4: THE WREATHS
Skeeter Family: In the Old Testament regular sacrifices were required to stay in right relationship with God. God’s love must have seemed temporary and conditional. With the coming of Christ, we see that God’s love is eternal, a sacrifice was made once for all for our sins.
Skeeter Family: The circle of the wreath reminds us of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy, which has no beginning or end. Being circular the wreath reminds us that God’s love is eternal, never-ending, not based on what we do.
Skeeter Family: The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life. The evergreens remind us of the spiritual life we are promised through Jesus Christ. Though we die, we shall live forever because of His great gift of grace.
Carol #93 "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" (1, 4 verses)
Narration-5: THE POINSETTIAS
Rebekah Drake: The most popular flower of the Christmas season is the red poinsettia. This flower was discovered growing wild in Mexico by Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett who served as our First United States Ambassador to that country from 1825 to 1829. In Mexico, the plant was referred to as the Flower of the Holy Night or the Flame Leaf. Actually, the petals are not blossoms; they are the small yellow clusters found at the center. Somehow the red and green leaves of the plant give to Christmas an added touch that would not be the same without them.
Michael Drake: This flower speaks symbolically in several ways. First of all the star-shaped formation of red leaves calls to mind the star which shone at that First Christmas. The color of the flower is blood red. This reminds us of the blood of the male infants killed by Roman soldiers as King Herod sought to eliminate any threat to his throne. We sometimes forget this part of the story which made Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus' trip to Egypt a necessity. The blood red also symbolizes the Babe of Bethlehem's manger who became the Savior of the World as He shed His blood upon the cross of Calvary.
Carol #86 “O Little Town of Bethlehem” (1, 2, 3 verses)
Narration-6: THE MANGER
Bill Fowler: The need for a Savior is obvious in all our lives by the simple fact that we are are sinful and in need of grace, but how would God send us this Savior? It was assumed that the the Savior would be a Jewish leader coming in power to take over the world and make the Jews the rulers of all. Instead, He came to earth as a baby, born into this world to die for our sins. “Although He existed in the form of God, (He) emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” (Phil.2:6-7) He humbled Himself so all people could come to Him for salvation.
Patsy Fowler: How could the Creator of the world become a Babe? How could the King of Kings be found in a feeding trough rather than in a palace? How could God in the flesh be in the arms of a teenaged virgin, rather than in the Holy of Holies? The scene set with animals and shepherds, a newlywed couple, and a little baby is so unbelievable it must be recreated in our churches and in our homes just to remind us that it is true.
(Manger is set up during the song)
Song: Mary Did You Know? (Naoko solo w/accomp cd)
Narration-7: THE GIFTS
Gloria Vick: Gifts were brought by the wise men to Jesus. Matthew 2:11 says: "On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh." Frankincense is tapped from Boswellia trees through slashing the bark. Myrrh is a red-brown resinous material, the dried sap of a tree native to Somalia and the eastern parts of Ethiopia.
Naoko Jalbert: We give gifts to our loved ones on Christmas to show them how much we care. It is more blessed to give than to receive, the joy we get from giving is a blessing to us. It is wonderful that on Jesus' birthday, we give one another gifts of love to remember God's gift to us.
Carol #113 "We Three Kings Of Orient Are" (1, 5 verses)
(**During the first verse the children will bring presents to place under the tree.)
Offering Our Gifts and Tithes
Narration-8: THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Pat Ferguson: The Christmas tree originated in Germany during the 1500s. According to a legend, Martin Luther, while walking through the forest on Christmas Eve, was so moved by the beauty of the starlit fir trees that he brought one indoors and decorated it with candles. This is where we get our tradition of putting lights on our Christmas trees. Luther compared the Christmas tree, with its top pointing up to heaven, to "hands folded in prayer", pointing to God. Luther topped his tree with a star to commemorate that star which guided the Wise men to the Christ Child. This is where we get our tradition of topping the Christmas tree with a star. Sometimes we place an angel at the top of the Christmas tree. This symbolizes the angels that proclaimed Christ's birth to the shepherds in Bethlehem.
Steve Ferguson: In 1841, Prince Albert of Germany gave his wife, Queen Victoria of England, a gift of a Christmas tree. It was the first Christmas tree in England. The custom spread quickly to America, where, the Christmas tree is widely used in our celebration of Christmas. The evergreen Christmas tree reminds us of God's eternal nature. It, too, is a symbol of hope reminding us of eternal life in Christ.
(Tree will be lit when “darkness flies st.2)
Carol #91 Silent Night, Holy Night” (1,4 verses)
Devotional Message Pastor
The Meaning of Advent
Time of Commitment and Prayer Pastor
Narration-9: THE HANGING OF THE CHRISMONS
Harvey Porter: Today, we will hang Chrismons on our church Christmas tree. Chrismons began with a pastor in 1940. He began making decorations for his own Christmas tree that were symbols about Jesus Christ, and the meaning of Christmas, instead of the usual ornaments. The practice soon caught on with other Christians and many churches, and today the Chrismon Tree is a common sight all over the United States.
Carolyn Porter: "Chrismon" is a combination of two words, "Christ," and "monogram." Monogram, of course, means initials, or symbols for a particular person. The Chrismon tree bears symbols or monograms about Jesus our Savior. Each Chrismon uses only white and gold to symbolize Christ’s purity and royalty. As the Chrismons are handed out, please feel free to come up and hang a Chrismon on the tree.
Please join us in singing "Joy to the World" as we decorate the tree and then leave this place to share the Joy of Christmas.
Carol #87 "Joy To The World"