A Word From the Pastor
Rev. L. David Mortenson, Senior Pastor
Advent, the preparing. Is it that time of year already? Time flies when you are having fun. This is the beginning of the church calendar year. The time where we prepare for the coming of the Messiah, the Savior. When God comes to save us from ourselves. Advent is from the Latin word, adventus, which means coming or visit. Is it the anticipation of the coming that get excited for.
The Hews were preparing for the coming of the Messiah and they were longing for forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. We as Christians are preparing for the return of the Messiah. But we are also longing for forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning in eternity with God in paradise.
We prepare for Christmas for the 4 weeks before we celebrate the birth of Christ. The Christmas season actually lasts from sundown on Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) through Epiphany of the Lord (Jan. 6). This is sometimes referred to as "the 12 days of Christmas." Love that song, especially the version from Straight No Chasers.
People always have something to say about Christmas trees and candy canes not being religious. They don't look into the origins. The Christmas tree is said to have originated in Germany in the 1500's. According to the History Channel, devout Christians started bringing trees into their homes and decorating them. Some say it is Martin Luther who added candles to the trees after seeing snow glisten on trees and stars in the sky during an evening walk. He brought a tree into his main room and wired candles to the branches to recapture the scene.
"Legend has it that the candy cane dates back to 1670, when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany handed out sugar sticks among his young singers to keep them quiet during the Living Creche ceremony," Schildhaus says. "In honor of the occasion, he bent the candies into shepherds' crooks."
From St. Andrews Catholic Church, The hard candy reminds us that Jesus is like a rock, "dependable." The peppermint flavor is like the gift of spices form the wise men. The white candy stands for Jesus as the holy sinless Son of God. The letter "J" is for the name Jesus. Also the cane is like the staff used by the shepherds in caring for the sheep, and Jesus is the Good Shepherd. The red color is for the love of God that sent Jesus to give His life on the cross. And lastly, the stipes remind us of Jesus suffering-His crown o thorns, the wounds in His hands and feet, and the cross on which He dies.
So enjoy the trees, the candy and even the corny songs. Just remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. God bless and have a Merry Christmas.