© Kathryn M Schreiber, 2015. Fits Advent- Christmas Year C.
4-Sunday Morning Services, 2-Special Services, 4-Advent Handouts
Biblical trees and the trees of our landscapes guide us in the annual journey from awaiting to receiving the newly re-born Christ. Sunday morning and Christmas Eve worship services include scripture notations, meditation quotes, Advent and Christ Candle rituals, prayers, music suggestions, sermon content and pastoral prayers; Holy Communion for first Sunday of December and Christmas Eve. Soothing Sanctuary comes in two formats – traditional worship and simple meditation ritual. Handouts focus upon each week’s biblical tree with tips about household Advent Wreath practices. Additional free content was posted on the “Living Liturgies” Facebook page during late Fall and Early Winter of 2015. “Trees Advent Wreath” and “All Creation’s Christmas Tree” Coloring Sheets and images are available separately.
1 Advent “Fig Tree: Looking for Hope” (Worship service content) Scripture: Jeremiah 33:14-16 “A Righteous Branch” and Luke 21:25-36 “Watching the Fig Tree.” Jesus says, “Look to the trees” – and we will to nurture hope. Sermon: The fig tree as a biblical metaphor for current quests for hope.
2 Advent “Palm Tree: Open to Joy” (Worship service content) Scripture: Baruch 5:1-9 “Joy is Coming” and Luke 1:68-79 “Promise-Keeping God.” Experiencing the trees in our midst, we learn to experience the joy of God’s unexpected presence. Sermon: Ancient symbolism of palm trees and leafy invitations from Annie Dillard and Macrina Wiederkehr.
3 Advent “Olive Tree: Fruit-Bearing Peacemakers” (Worship service content) Scripture: Jeremiah 17:5-8 “Like Shrubs and Trees” and Luke 3:7-18 “Bear Fruit or Else…” Sermon relates spiritual guidance from John the Baptist, Thomas Merton and Wangari Maathai – founder of the Kenyan GreenBelt movement.
“Soothing Sanctuary” (flexible date, usually mid-Advent) (Worship service script) Two formats – both create a calming evening service of music, silence and prayer amid a safe place twinkling with candlelight – for household or public worship.
4 Advent “Cedar Tree: Bearing Royalty” (Worship service content) Scripture: Ezekiel 17:22-24 “Planted by God” and Luke 1:39-45 “Blessed Fruit” God is our gardener who strives to grow us! Sermon: King David and maiden Mary suggest how we might work with God to bear what is needed during an interactive reflection time.
Christmas Eve “Redwood Tree: Christ Born Among Us” (Worship service content) Scripture Text: Classic readings from Luke and Isaiah, as well as modern readings about redwoods. Readings and carols, Holy Communion and candle-lighting rituals. Sermon: Script for the story-sermon “A Redwood Speaks of Christ.”
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