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Pastor Cheryl Matthews Report

Announcing his coming, the angel from heaven Descended to bring his good tidings to earth.

Victorious, triumphant, the message is given: Each penitent sinner, come view Jesus birth. Now come we! Now sing we! Our King draws near! To Bethlehem, hasten. Christ casts out our fear!

- Paul M Lindberg

Dear Friends in Christ:

I wish you a joy-filled holiday season, sharing with you the ADVENT acrostic above by Paul Lindberg. It captures the wonder of Jesus coming to earth, the announcement of the angels, and the wonderful invitation to come and worship, to sing our praises, and to rejoice that we can cast aside all our fears. Christ the Savior is born!

In the coming weeks, our worship will include the lighting of the Advent wreath, which is both a German and Scandinavian tradition. It is a wreath of evergreen branches, symbolizing the continuation of life even in the midst of winter. Four candles are arranged among the greens, with the Christ candle often placed in the center as the fifth candle. The Advent candles are symbolic of the coming of Jesus, the living light of the world. Jesus is the light that broke forth on the first Christmas Eve when he was born as Prince of Peace. He is the light that gradually shined through the world. We light one more candle each week, telling of the increasingly brighter light of Jesus’ coming, leading to the blaze of light at the dawning of Christmas.

Each candle in the Advent wreath has a specific meaning. The first is the prophecy candle, announcing the period of waiting for the promised messiah. The second is the Bethlehem candle, the city that will receive and cradle the Christ child. The third is the Shepherds’ candle, which symbolizes the act of sharing Christ. Finally, is the Angels’ candle, the candle of love and Jesus’ coming. The beauty of the Advent wreath deepens our understanding of the season as a time of preparation for the full appearing of Jesus Christ into the life of humanity - Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us!

I hope you will all “Come, and worship, come and worship, worship Christ the newborn King.” Join with your neighbors and friends as we enjoy a service of candle light, traditional readings, and Christmas carols and welcome the infant Jesus into our hearts. Our worship times this year are 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24th, 2019.

Love, Joy, and Peace,
Pastor Cheryl Matthews

ELCA logo Christ Lutheran Church is part of the La Crosse Area Synod of the ELCA and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

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