The Christian church’s liturgical calendar begins with the season of Advent. Faith communities intentionally adorn their worship spaces with a Hanging of the Greens ceremony, a precursor to Christmastide. The ceremony is held directly before the first Sunday of Advent, and it emphasizes symbols of everlasting life (circular evergreen wreath), the light of Christ (Advent candles), Chrismon symbols hung on the evergreen tree that “direct our attention to the nature and ultimate work of Christ and primary Advent themes.” These symbols can include the crow, descending dove, fish, Celtic cross, Jerusalem cross, shepherd's crook, orb, crown, fish, star, anchor, chalice, shell—all made in the colors of white and gold (purity/perfection, majesty/glory), and clear lights. The Hanging of the Greens ceremony also creates a sacred space that builds or strengthens an ethos of koinonia, a community intentionally setting forth on a divine journey with God and with one another.
We light the candles of Peace, Hope, Joy and Trust as our circle is complete. And we light the light of Love as the sign of Christ’s presence among us, no matter how dark it may seem.
“A child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).Where in your community do you see signs that Christ is changing the world? Where would you like to see more signs of change? What will you do today to share God with others?
There is a song that I really love listening to, it is sung by Rhonda Vincent and the Rage entitled "If You Don't Love Your Neighbor --- Then You Don't Love God!" If you say that you love God, and don't love your neighbor, then you are a liar and you don't know God! In the Lord's Prayer that we recite very often we say that "Forgive our (Sins) (Debts) or (Trespasses) as we forgive those that have (Sinned) (Debtors) or (Trespassed) against us!" We are saying that if we harbor any hate, or ill will then we ourselves will not be forgiven!
Especially during this season and continue throughout the year to practice Forgiving Others because it is for our own good that we do so! Not a single one of us on this earth can say that we don't need to "Repent!" Repent means to change our ways; of thinking and acting, to grow closer to God! Put LOVE in your heart and Put LOVE in your LIFE and you will be Wise, Happy, and drawn closer to GOD!
Gracious God, we seek you everywhere with expectant eyes that invite us to see all the people that you are calling us to love today. We praise you, O God, for the King of Kings! Amen. Come, O Come, Emmanuel.