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Advent & Christmas

Advent Season

The meaning of advent

The season of Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas. During this time, we look back at the promises God made about Christ's first coming as God's people in the Old Testament hoped and waited for the coming Messiah (Christ Jesus). We also look forward to the promise made to Christ's Church on earth - the promise of Christ's second coming when he will call us to glory and live with him in eternity. So we wait in prayerful expectation for the day of Christ's second coming to arrive. 

As you worship with us during the Advent Season, you will notice an Advent wreath at the front of church. There are four candles
Worship with us this Advent Season.
 
Wednesday evening worship @ 6 pm on Dec 3rd, Dec 10th, & Dec 17th.

Join us for a meal following each service.
circling the wreath with a fifth candle in the center of the wreath. Each week a new candle is lit. The Prophecy Candle (sometimes called Hope Candle or Expectation Candle) is lit on the first week of Advent. This candle reminded believers throughout the Old Testament of God's promise to send the Messiah (Jesus) to save His people.

The Bethlehem Candle (sometimes called Peace Candle or Preparation Candle) is lit during the second week of Advent. The candle lit on the third week of Advent is called the Shepherd's Candle, or Joy Candle. During the fourth week of Advent, we light the Angel Candle, or the Love Candle.

The white candle at the center of the wreath is called the Christ Candle. This candle is lit on Christmas Eve and reminds us that God's promise of sending His Son into the world to redeem His people had finally come to pass.

The liturgical color of Advent is a deep blue. This color serves to remind us of heaven and the expectation that Jesus is coming again. The scriptures that are read during this season remind us of Christ's first coming and that he will come again in glory. "Come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20).

Christmas

What is the true meaning of Christmas?

If you were to take a poll of the meaning of Christmas, what answers do you think you would get? Even among Christians, the meaning of Christmas is often lost. The true meaning of Christmas is not about human harmony or helping others. God wants us to help others all year long, not just on Christmas. Christmas is not about Christmas decorations, it's not about giving and receiving gifts. Christmas doesn't need all of that razzle-dazzle to make it special. Christmas is also not about family and friends. While we treasure those moments with those near and dear to our hearts, there is one who is more loving and more precious than our loved ones on earth.

So, what is the true meaning of Christmas? The meaning of Christmas is about our relationship with God. God demands us to be
Join us for Christmas Worship!

Children's Christmas Service at 9:30 am on Dec 19th & 6 pm on Dec 24th.

Christmas Eve worship at 1:30 pm on Dec 24th.

Christmas Day worship at 9 am on Dec 25th.

St. Matthew's Lutheran Church is located at 766 West Wabasha (7th) St. in Winona, MN. 
perfect. But because no one is perfect and everyone says, does, or thinks something that is wrong or evil, all people have been separated from God. This seperation from God brings death - not just physical death, but spiritual death. So God promised to send Jesus into the world to pay for our punishment and to break down the barriers that seperate us from God. This promise was fulfilled on Christmas Day.

On Christmas, we not only celebrate the birth of Christ, but also what Christ did during his life on earth. Christ lived a perfect life in our place. Christ took the punishment for all of our bad thoughts, actions, or words. Christ restored our relationship with God. During this time we also celebrate the promise that, as long as we have faith in Jesus and ask for forgiveness for all of the wrong we do, we will have life after death in heaven with God.

It's alright to celebrate Christmas by giving gifts and setting up decorations. It's wonderful when we can spend time with our family and friends during Christmas. It's great when we help others during this time of year. But always keep the true meaning of Christmas in view.