The first Sunday of Advent, November 29th, we had our Hanging of the Greens service at St. Andrews UMC. The individuals in the picture above were our readers for the various parts, some did double duty. The readers and their subjects were Emma Jean Johnson: "The Meaning of the Service", Ashley Keith: "The Christmas Poinsettia", Rachel Nuckols: "Lessons of Christmas" and "Christmas Caroling", Anita Adams: "The Paraments and Advent Colors", Nancy Waller: "The Christmas Tree", Lisa Nuckols: "The Gifts of Christmas", Stacy Wyatt: "The Advent Wreath", Dan Nuckols: "Christmas in America" and "The Christ of Christmas", and not pictured ( she did such a great job I forgot to take the picture) Judy Edwards: "The Sanctuary Evergreens". Below are the Wyatts; Bill, Stacy, and Brandon, who did the reading for the lighting of the Advent Wreath candle for the first Sunday of Advent.
Advent is a special time, it is a time that, in the midst of all hustle and rush of the season, tells us to wait. It is a time of expectancy. A time to slow down and prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. But, its also about celebrating the birth of the one that was crucified, died, and rose again. If it wasn't for those events we wouldn't be celebrating Christmas at all. So, take some time during Advent to focus on what the season is supposed to be all about. Do whatever it takes; listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas programming on the television, go to a couple of Christmas cantatas (it doesn't even have to be at your church), try out a Christmas Eve Candlelight service, read the Nativity account in the Gospels on Christmas morning; you get the idea. Just don't let it be another day that you'll be glad when its over.