Advent and the Year of Matthew
Dear members and friends of Our Savior,
With the Beginning of Advent we enter, a new Church Year. This year that happens Sunday, December 1st. On that day we begin once again to look forward to the coming of Christ. Once again we tell the story of Jesus from the promise of His coming to His birth, suffering, death, resurrection, ascension and sending of His Spirit. This year the Gospel of Matthew will be our guide. This new Church Year becomes, then, the Year of Matthew.
This new year will give us a good opportunity to study the First Gospel as we read and meditate on it in the quiet of our homes. With the exception of several selections from John’s Gospel, we will hear portions of Matthew read each week as the Gospel for the day. We will thereby become familiar with Matthew’s special way of telling the Good News of Christ.
Matthew’s Gospel has been called “The Church's Gospel.” It is the only Gospel that .uses the word "Church.” It was the most quoted Gospel in the early Church.
An important question for Matthew was raised by Jesus Himself when He asked: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?" (Matthew 16:14). Matthew’s entire Gospel is an attempt to give an answer to that question, an answer that can be received in faith. Throughout the Year of Matthew that question is put to each member of Our Savior Lutheran Church and each one who worships with us, every time we gather in the Lord’s House: Who do you say Jesus is?
We have finished the Year of Luke. The Third Gospel was always showing Jesus’ love for all people, especially the outcast. Mathew on the other-hand goes to great lengths to show us where Jesus came from; how Jesus was the fulfillment of Old Testament promise; and what Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven revealed about Himself. Who do you say the Son of Man is? That’s Matthew’s question. Now he lays his question on you: “Who do you say the Son of Man is?” Well... go on! What do you think? What do you believe? Who is He anyway?
“Come and see” (John 1:46),
December Worship Schedule:
Sundays: 10:30 a.m. (Sunday School and Bible Class, 9:15 a.m.)
Wednesdays: 7:00 p.m. (December 4, 11, and 18)
Christmas Eve (Tuesday): 7:00 p,m,
Christmas Day (Wednesday): 10:30 a.m.
New Year’s Eve (Tuesday): 7:00 p.m.
Yours in Christ.
Pastor Randy Schultz
Guidelines for Meditating on The Word
Choose an appropriate time and place to meditate in which there will be complete quiet
Pray to the Holy Spirit that He would enable you to understand what you read from the Bible
Read through the given passage of Scripture 3 times in one setting
Spend at least 10 minutes pondering what you read
Answer the following questions about the passage:
Write down your thoughts so that you do not forget them and can ponder them at a later time
Pray to God about the content of the passage
Each day of the week, meditate on a phrase or sentence from the given passage.
If possible memorize it.
- What do I learn about Jesus?
- What does God want me to believe or do?
Readings for DecemberDecember 1-7, Matt. 21:1-11 or 24:36-44
December 8-14, Matt. 3:1-12
December 15-21, Matt. 11:2-15
December 22-28, Matt. 1:18-25
December 29-Jan 4, Matt. 2:13-23
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with
the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and
purpose. (Philippians 2:1-2)
These words recorded by St. Paul summarize and empower the theme of our spiritual growth and faith renewal effort now known as
Connect to Christ: experience MORE.
At our Leadership Retreat, each director prayerfully shared his/her goal(s) for this campaign. Two themes were repeated and
amplified around the table: “more” of the good things (i.e. God things) going on at Our Savior Lutheran; and “unity” of people and purpose.
Truly, we are blessed by knowing Christ and being united (connected)
to Him. St. Paul names some of these blessings in the Scripture above: encouragement, comfort, fellowship, tenderness, compassion. Connected to
Christ, we experience these blessings and MORE. Look around our website and check out what MORE Christ has to give.
Spiritual renewal is the work of the Holy Spirit who connects us to Christ and thereby restores the joy of salvation (Psalm 51:12).
Because we are “united with Christ,” we also have a connection to each other in Christ. St. Paul records that as we are “like-minded” in
Christ and as we show the “same love” as Christ, and we function as “one spirit and purpose,” then our joy is made complete.
May the Holy Spirit restore and complete our joy as we worship, serve, and grow together at Our Savior Lutheran. Let’s Connect to Christ: Experience MORE!