Decorating for Advent & Christmas

Christmas Decorating 2017 3

The people of MLLC have been working hard to decorate for the seasons of Advent and Christmas.  It takes time, love and energy to make this all come together.  Thankfully, we have these to share in abundance.  We had elementary, junior high, senior high youth working on this, as well as various adults up into their 90s.  It is such a joy to see all generations working together on a project. Thank you to all who gave of their time to decorate the church, both inside and outside.  There are still some small details to prepare, and these will be ready for Sunday.

Here are some photos of the work which has been done by the crew of youth and adults:

 

 

Advent begins this Sunday, December 3, which is the latest it can start.  Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas Day.  The Sundays of Advent are December 3, 10, 17 and 24.  We gather for worship each Sunday at 10:00 a.m.  We also gather for worship on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month at 6:00 p.m. – this month that is on December 9 and 23.

Some special items of note for these Sundays:

December 10 – Children’s Christmas Program and Brunch

All are invited to the meal following worship.  This is a pot luck meal, with main dish soups provided by the Christian Education Committee. Even if you do not have a child in the program we invite you to enjoy the fellowship and food

 

December 17 – Carol Service

This annual tradition provides an opportunity for various people in the congregation to share their musical gifts and talents during worship.  Contact the church office soon so we can include your musical presentation.  Singers, choirs, musicians, musical groups and the like will offer Advent and Christmas music during worship.  All are invited and welcome to worship the Lord and to enjoy the music on this special day.

 

Advent Wednesday Services

All are welcome as we will celebrate the Season of Advent with our partner church, Waldeck Evangelical Lutheran Church.  The church is located at 6915 Waldeck Church Lane, Ledbetter, TX 78946 – this is about 6 miles south of Ledbetter at the corner of FM 2145 and FM 1291.

Schedule of Wednesday Services

Wednesdays – December 6, 13, and 20

Worship at 6:30 p.m., followed by the meal.

 

Christmas Services

Sunday, December 24, Christmas Eve – worship at 6:00 p.m.

Monday, December 24, Christmas Day – worship at 10:00 a.m.

The 12 Days of Christmas, and then Epiphany

Nativity Olive Wood

by Pastor David Tinker

Martin Luther Lutheran Church

Carmine, Texas

When are the 12 Days of Christmas?

The 12 Days of Christmas are the days of the Christmas Season.  These are the days between the Nativity of our Lord (December 25) and the Epiphany of our Lord (January 6). There are 2 traditions of counting these 12 Days of Christmas. One tradition is that the 12 Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day, and conclude on “Twelfth Night”, which is January 5. The second tradition is that the 12 Days of Christmas begin on December 26, and run through January 6.  “Twelfth Night” would then be January 6. Despite the promotions and activity of our culture, the Christian “Christmas Season” begins on Christmas Day, rather than during the time leading up to Christmas.

Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas

Here are some ways to mark the 12 Days of Christmas in your home and daily life.

— Daily read something in the Bible about the birth and youth of Jesus.  Look especially in Matthew chapters 1-2, and Luke chapter 2.

— For fun with your family sing the popular song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” — “on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me..”  Maybe do only the total number of days which have passed.  Only on January 5 or 6, depending on how you count these days, would you sing all twelve verses.  Another option would be to play a recording of someone singing this popular song.

— Tell others about the 12 Days of Christmas, such as in conversation, letters, e-mail, or on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

— Use 12 candles to count off the days during a meal or at devotions.  One more candle is lit each day until all are lit on January 5th or 6th.

— Keep your Christmas tree up until at least January 6.

— Send your Christmas cards during this time, and possibly note the 12 Days of Christmas in your letter to family and friends.

— Attend worship at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Carmine on the two weekends which always occur in the 12 Days of Christmas.  Some folks pull back from worship during this time and miss out on a joyful time of the year at church.

— Schedule Christmas Parties during this time.  You will be less stressed and it will give your friends another chance to get together for joyful fellowship.

 

Special Days during the 12 Days of Christmas

December 26 – The Feast of St. Stephen, Deacon and Martyr.  Read about his ministry in Acts chapters 6 and 7

December 27 – The Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist.  Read one of the books connected to his ministry, such as the Gospel of John, the three letters of John, and Revelation.

December 28 – Remembrance of the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem, Martyrs.  Read about these victims of tyranny in Matthew chapter 2, especially verses 16-18.

December 31 – New Year’s Eve – a chance to reflect on God’s grace for you during this past year.

January 1 – The Name of Jesus.  On this day we remember Jesus’ 8th day.  Read about this in Luke 2:21.  This is when his name was announced in a public way.

The Epiphany of our Lord – January 6

‘The People who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined.’ — Isaiah 9:2

The Epiphany of our Lord is mostly known as the celebration of the arrival of the Magi for their visit to bring their gifts of Jesus.  It is much more.  When we celebrate the Epiphany we are celebrating the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ.  The Epiphany reminds us about the growing glory of God in the Son of God/Son of Man, Jesus Christ. Epiphany is the manifestation or showing of Jesus to the world.  The Magi were non-Jewish foreigners who came to worship Jesus, and are thus representatives of who would eventually benefit from the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus.  This visit, from Matthew chapter 2, foreshadows the mission which Jesus grants to his followers.  In the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20, our Lord commands us to make disciples of all nations, not just of the Jews.

Celebrating the Epiphany of our Lord

— Attend worship on Sunday, January 4, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. as we celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Carmine.

— Read the story of the Magi in Matthew chapter 2

— Pray for Christian missionaries as they spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

— Pray for the Church around the world.

— Host an Epiphany Party.

— Give generously to people in need. Remember, as Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) — Sing “We Three Kings” and/or “The First Noel”

— Attend worship on all or most every weekend in the season after the Epiphany.

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

The gifts of the Magi to Jesus point us to who Jesus really is. The Magi offer gold, a possession of kings; frankincense, used in ritual and prayer to indicate the presence of God; and myrrh, an oil used at the time of death as well as for anointing priests. By their gifts, the wise men reveal the identity of this child: the king before whom nations will bow down, the anointed high priest of God, and the suffering servant who will die for the ones he has come to serve.

Setting Up the Christmas Tree Part 1

Christmas Tree 2014 set up more work

On Sunday, November 30, after worship a team of volunteers set up our Christmas Tree. We are very thankful for their dedicated service.   This was part 1 of a two part process.  We invite you to participate in part 2 of this process.  On Monday, December 1, starting at 6 p.m., we will hang the Chrismons for the tree.  These were made following patterns suggested and offered by the originators of Chrismons (click this link for more information from the official web site of Chrismons).

Refreshments and food for all will be provided by the Mary Group Circle.  Please plan on staying to enjoy the fellowship.

 

Here are some of the Chrismons which were carefully wrapped for storage since last year.

Christmas Tree 2014 set up Crismon detail

 

Here are some photos of our crew setting up the tree and preparing the lights.

Christmas Tree 2014 set up lights on tree

Christmas Tree 2014 set up ladders

Christmas Tree 2014 set up tree top

Our Olive Wood Nativity Set will be ready for set up as well.

Christmas Tree 2014 set up olive wood box

Christmas Tree 2014 set up olive wood inside

Our pulpit is moved to a back corner to make room for the tree and Nativity scene.

Christmas Tree 2014 set up pulpit

Here is the finished product of the work on Sunday.  Remember, we will complete the work on Monday, December 1, starting at 6:00 p.m.  You are invited to come and participate.  Food and refreshments will be provided by the Mary Group Circle.

Christmas Tree 2014 set up lights turned on

 

Thank you again to all who gave of their time to get this tree prepared for decorating.