Welcome, and thank you for visiting St. Matthew Lutheran Church online. We hope that our website highlights our worship, fellowship and service opportunities available. Please feel free to read more about our church on this site, or come in for a visit. We would love to greet you and share with you our love for Jesus Christ and for you, our neighbor.
• Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2020
• Presidents Day, February 17, 2020
• Transfiguration of Our Lord, February 23, 2020
• Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020
• Leap Day, February 29, 2020
• First Sunday in Lent, March 1, 2020
• World Day of Prayer, March 6, 2020
• Second Sunday in Lent, March 8, 2020
• Daylight-Saving Time begins, March 8, 2020
• Third Sunday in Lent, March 15, 2020
• First day of spring, March 19, 2020
• Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 22, 2020
• Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 29, 2020
A prayer for Ash Wednesday
Lord of the winds, I cry to thee,
I that am dust, and blown about
by every gust I fly to thee.
Lord of the waters, unto thee I call.
I that am weed upon the waters borne, and by the waters torn,
tossed by the waters, at thy feet I fall.
—Mary Coleridge (1861-1907)
Services are held in the main Church:
Sunday School/Bible Study at 9:15 in the fellowship hall.
Sunday Morning Worship 10:30 am.
Wednesday evening worship 6:00 pm.
Wednesday night service is 7:00 PM during Lent and Advent seasons. A light meal will be served before each service during the holidays.
Any additional services will be announced on our notice board and on our website.
Lent, the church-year season that begins on Ash Wednesday, is a time of penitence and spiritual renewal. Some people give up a luxury or vice during Lent as a form of self-denial; others undertake a project that benefits others.
The point isn’t to denigrate ourselves or to see how much we can do without. Instead, Lent helps us reflect on Jesus’ death. As Timothy Keller writes in The Reason for God: “The Christian Gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.”
The very best valentine
Almost everyone — at least of the female persuasion — knows the romantic meaning of the phrase “hearts and flowers.” Valentine’s Day is coming! What will I get from my boyfriend … my husband … my best friend? I’m hoping for some sort of bouquet, a card full of loving words and red hearts, candy or at least a sweet balloon.
Human beings may disappoint. That special someone may forget to check the calendar for February 14. But even if he doesn’t come through exactly as I hope, I can still be amazed and happy with the valentine I am sure to receive every day from my heavenly Father and his Son: words of delight and joy and caring — always surrounding me with love and more love. These are the best “hearts and flowers” I could ever have, and which I do have, on Valentine’s Day and throughout eternity.
We’re so accustomed to hearing the Bible’s “love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13, at weddings and other occasions that we may not really hear its meaning anymore. It can help to listen to something familiar said in different words. What new understandings of love does this paraphrase from The Message Bible reveal to you?
“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always ‘me first,’ doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, MSG).
Lent is a time for restoring balance to our lives. The Eskimos practice balance as they venture into freezing Arctic waters in little boats. If you’ve ever paddled a kayak, you know how easy they are to tip. Thankfully, kayaks are just as easy to turn back upright.
That isn’t a bad image for Lent — or for life as a whole. Whatever spiritual disciplines we adopt, if we succumb to temptation, it’s no biggie. One of the lessons of Lent is that, as long as we’re traveling light, it takes only a quick twist of the paddle to right us. That paddle twist might take the form of a quick but heartfelt prayer: “Jesus, set me straight again!” Or it might mean some extra time set aside for quiet meditation with God. Don’t get worried if your spiritual discipline fails now and then. Just let Jesus help you get upright once more, and keep paddling!
Preparation for worship
“How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!” (Psalm 84:1). Open my ears to your word.
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Jesus, you call me to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). Empower me through this worship to season and brighten the world with your love.
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Every day, God, I celebrate that “we love because [you] first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
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Holy Spirit, please quiet my heart of all distractions so I can give you my full attention in worship.
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[Ash Wednesday] God, thank you that I can bring my sins to you without fear, for you forgive in grace and “create in me a clean heart” (Psalm 51:10).
A Lenten history lesson
Though the date of Easter varies, the majority of the Lenten season occurs during March. In fact, the word Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon words lenctentid (meaning “March”) and lencten (meaning “spring”).
The first reference to Lent dates back to 325 AD, in one of the 20 canons decreed at the council of Nicaea. By the eighth century, Christians started observing Lent, and a 10th-century monk named Aelfric connected the use of ashes and “the Lenten fast” to the pre-Easter period.
Lent lasts 40 days to represent Jesus’ time in the wilderness, when he was tempted by the devil. The six Sundays that occur between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday aren’t counted as part of Lent; instead, as the traditional day of worship, they’re considered “mini-Easters.”
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