What are yours and do you know where they come from?
It is 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his thesis to the door in Wittenburg and inadvertently started the Reformation. But did you know that many of our Christmas traditions were begun in the days of the Reformation and the churches that grew out of it?
For instance if you have a Christmas Wreath on your door, as many do, then that is a tradition that originally dates to the Lutheran church. The circle of evergreens represents eternal life, the 4 lights or additional decoration originally matched the church season but the 3rd one was always different. The 3rd Sunday is set apart for rejoicing. In the midst of the preparations, which usually included fasting, Gaudete Sunday was different we celebrate because the promised Messiah is coming. If your wreath has a centre piece then that originally would have been the 5th Candle, the Christ Candle, lit at Christmas to remind us that Jesus is the Light of the World.
Luther himself was really worried about “St Nick” getting all the glory and distracting people from the real meaning of Christmas. So he began the tradition of celebrating the Christkindt or Christ Child. To celebrate Jesus Christ, and to help the children understand the real meaning of Christmas Luther gave them gifts. He wanted them to understand that the greatest gift God has ever given is His Son, Jesus Christ the Light of the World who brings eternal life.
During Advent there are a number of alterations to our usual programme so please check below. Eeveryone is very welcome to join us any Sunday at 10:30am and again at 6:30pm; fantastic fellowship and lively worship awaits you. Refreshments are served after the morning service. Services last between 60 and 90 minutes but we often stick around chatting for a lot longer!!
evening service 4pm at Ironside Walk, Colchester Road. Advent Carols.
morning service Family Nativity
evening service Carols by Candlelight (trad. 9 lessons and carols)
Christmas Eve Cafe Church in the morning
and at 11:15pm Christmas Eve Communion.
10:30 Christmas Day Worship, Come and see how special the greatest gift ever given is.
And whatever you do this Christmas time,
think about those less fortunate,
that what God was doing when He sent Jesus to us!