On Saturday, November 30, members of Cokes Chapel and Lighthouse Ministries gathered for the “Hanging of the Greens” signaling the start of the Christian season of Advent. “Like many traditions, the significance of this activity has either been forgotten or simply is unknown by many Christians,” said Dr. Mark Jordan, “this year I want people to understand the symbolism and its tie to Advent.” He went on to say he attributes the lack of awareness to the tendency to rush through the holidays without fully considering the spiritual aspects of the Greens or Advent.
Specifically, Cedar represents royalty – the birth of Christ; Holly represents resurrection – life from death; while Pine and Fir trees represent life everlasting the very essence of Christian hope. “We celebrate this eternal hope during the season of Advent, which leads us to Christmas.”
Dr. Jordan said people often confuse Advent with Christmas – assuming they are synonymous. “During Advent, Christians are encouraged to prepare their hearts for the birth of the Christ-child on December 25; simultaneously, we are to prepare ourselves for His return in final victory!” Dr. Jordan has developed a special sermon series designed to emphasize the need for preparation utilizing selected movie clips from famous Christmas movies. The Christmas at the Movies message series is a follows:
- Sunday, December 1 – Hope: A Christmas Story – our eternal hope isn't in a gift that may or may not be wrapped under a tree, but in the gift of Jesus at Christmas.
- Sunday, December 8 – Peace: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the hope we find in Jesus provides us an inner peace that defies our understanding.
- Sunday, December 15– Love: Rise of the Guardians – when the love of God we receive at Christmas is at the center of our lives, it opens us to experience God's wonders.
- Sunday, December 22 - Joy: It's a Wonderful Life – the promise of salvation from our sins brings us a sense and state of joy, despite the circumstances we face.
Cokes Chapel's Advent season of preparation culminates on Tuesday, December 24 with two Christmas Eve Worship Celebrations at 7pm for contemporary and 9pm for traditional. Both services will have candle lighting and the sharing of Holy Communion. During the services, we will think about the song of heaven the angels sang announcing the birth of Jesus.
The public is invited to attend the month-long Advent celebration. “We invite everyone to come and share in gift of Christ – the greatest gift ever given!” Cokes Chapel will host several special events and activities to aid our preparation for Christmas throughout the month of December:
12/8 The First Noel Musical – 4:45pm
12/15 Christmas Bonfire for Families – 5:00pm
For more information on events at the church, please call the office at (770) 253-6052 or visit the website at www.cokeschapel.org.