Saturday, November 26, 2005

HANGING OF THE GREENS

The Hanging Of The Greens service is an Advent worship service that explains many of the Chrismons used in the Church during the Season of Advent.

Here is the service we are using this year:

A GREEN WREATH
God has come into our world through Jesus Christ!
What a wonderful truth this is!
During the Season of Advent we wait.
We wait for God to do something new in our world.
We look at the sickness, sadness, despair, war, poverty, and grief in our world -- and we may wonder if God cares for us.
A green wreath helps us remember that -- despite the sickness, sadness, despair, war, poverty, and grief -- there is God. The Evergreen is green all year. Its needles do not
fall off in the winter. It does not turn brown. All year it is green -- as eternal as the love God has for us. The circular wreath helps us remember that God’s love is eternal. We can not tell where the wreath begins or ends. In the same way, there is no beginning or ending to the love of God. God’s love has been with us in the past, it is with us now, and it will be with us in the future. It is eternal.
We actually do not have to wait for God to come into our world -- for God has always been and will always be with us.
Despite the sickness, sadness, despair, war, poverty, and grief of our world -- there was -- there is -- and there always will be -- God.
Indeed --
God has come into our world through Jesus Christ!
What a wonderful truth this is!

THE CHRISMON TREE
God has come into our world through Jesus Christ!
What a wonderful truth this is!
The Chrismon tree is a way for us to remember Christ. It may look like it is just another Christmas tree, but if you look closer, you will see that it is not “just another tree.” The decorations adorning the tree are all symbols for Christ. Many use the Greek or Latin initials for the words Jesus Christ -- hence the name Chrismons - - or monograms of Christ.
Just as everything we do should point to Christ and remind others of Christ, the tree points to the heavens -- where Christ reigns for us -- and reminds us of Christ by its use of His name.
Indeed --
God has come into our world through Jesus Christ!
what a wonderful truth this is!

THE CHI RHO (PRONOUNCED KI RO)
God has come into our world through Jesus Christ!
What a wonderful truth this is!
The Chi Rho (KI RO) helps us remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Although it looks like an X on top of a P, it is actually a monogram for Christ that is formed from the first two letters of the word Christ in Greek -- the original language of the New Testament. The letter that resembles our X is the Chi (KI), the first letter in the Greek word for Christ. The letter that resembles our P is the Rho (RO), the second letter in the Greek word for Christ. Taken together, the Chi Rho (KI RO) helps us remember that Christ is the true meaning of Christmas.
Indeed --
God has come into our world through Jesus Christ!
What a wonderful truth this is!

THE IOTA CHI (PRONOUNCED IOTA KI)
God has come into our world through Jesus Christ!
What a wonderful truth this is!
The Iota Chi (KI) reminds us of Jesus Christ -- the true light of the world.
Although it may appear to be an X over an I, it is actually the letter Chi (KI) over the letter Iota. Iota is the first letter of the Greek word for Jesus. Chi (KI) is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ. The Iota Chi (KI) stands for the initials of the name Jesus Christ.
The Iota Chi (KI) may also appear to be a star. The letters for the Greek name Jesus Christ arranged in such a way remind us of the how Jesus said
“I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.”
Yes --
God has come into our world through Jesus Christ!
What a wonderful truth this is!

THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA
God has come into our world through Jesus Christ!
What a wonderful truth this is!
The Alpha and the Omega remind that Jesus Christ is one and is eternal with God.
The Alpha resembles our letter A. Like our letter A, Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet.
The Omega resembles our letter U turned upside down. Actually it is the last letter of the Greek alphabet.
Jesus said to John in the vision he recorded in the book of Revelation:
“I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA,
THE FIRST AND THE LAST,
THE BEGINNING AND THE END.”
The Alpha and Omega help us remember and celebrate that God and Christ are one, and God is the first and last, the beginning and the end, the one who was -- is now -- and always will be.
Indeed --
God has come into our world through Jesus Christ!
What a wonderful truth this is!

THE CROWN
God has come into our world through Jesus Christ!
What a wonderful truth this is!
Although many of the Chrismons are made of the letters of the name Jesus Christ in the Latin and Greek languages, some Chrismons are symbols that stand for different aspects of the nature of Christ. This is why we see crowns, crosses, and angels on the tree.
The crown is an important reminder of the Kingship of Christ. It reminds us that Jesus is the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords. We worship and adore Christ -- the one who rules over all.
Yes --
God has come into our world through Jesus Christ!
What a wonderful truth this is!

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