The short story — it was a long day, following a long holiday weekend. The good news — it was a very satisfying day of ministry. Last night, I spent trying to get caught up from being out of town for four days. This morning Pam took Rebecca back to Roanoke to catch a ride to Southern Wesleyan. She “Facebooked” us around 1 or 2 to let us know she was back at school.
We began our preparation for Christmas today by observing the First Sunday of Advent. I was very pleased with how the service went this morning. For the second week in a row, we had someone respond to the message by coming to the altar — that never gets old.
The afternoon was filled preparing the sanctuary for our Hanging of the Greens service. One of my goals was to get the sanctuary tree up and decorated before we began our service — I am glad to say we accomplished that goal. I try to make this service an interactive experience. We use whoever shows up to read the various parts and we sing Advent and Christmas carols as we go along. As the various readings are read, we decorate with that item. This morning the sanctuary was lacking any decorations except for the Advent candles. I do this on purpose, so people see the change the next week. Also it signifies the desperation of the Jewish people who were awaiting the Messiah. The weather made it all the more bleak. It was a cold, gray, rainy morning on the Southside. The good news again is the church is now decorated for Advent and Christmas.
After we got home, I spent sometime getting this blog up-to-date and uploading the media files from today. I will post a brief outline of our Hanging of the Greens. It comes from CRI Voice. Here is the link to the full service by Dr. Dennis Bratcher.