St. Matthew's Evangelical Lutheran Church and School
Thank you for visiting St. Matthew's Church and School home page. If you need more information about us please visit the About or FB (Facebook) links at the top of the page. We have services for viewing and downloading on the 2021 Services link on the right along with the service folders.
Click HERE for the link to YouTube if you would like to view our
8:00 a.m. Sunday service live streamed.
We have entered the season of the church year which follows
Epiphany and prepares us for Easter. That season is Lent. Have you
noticed that the days are getting longer? If you have, you are on your
way to understanding the meaning of “Lent”, because the word lent
is from an Old English word for spring (“lengten,” the time of the
year when the days get longer). So when we speak of Lent we are
simply using a term which grew out of an observation in the world of
nature: the days are getting longer.
While the name “Lent” says nothing about the spiritual character
of the season or how we observe it, the German word for the season
did. The German word for Lent is “die Fasten,” the fast. It should not
surprise us that the Germans called the pre-Easter season “die
Fasten,” since Lent was historically a time for fasting. While the
length of the fast, and therefore, the season of Lent, varied in the
early days of the Christian church, it eventually was fixed at 40 days,
beginning with Ash Wednesday and lasting until Easter Sunday. The
pattern of a 40 day fast was intended to recall the 40 days of fasting
and testing our Lord endured in the wilderness after his Baptism.
So why don’t we in the Lutheran church insist on or encourage
fasting during Lent? Here we would do well to remember what
Luther says about fasting in connection with preparation for the
Lord’s Supper. In the Small Catechism he says: “Fasting and other
outward preparations may serve a good purpose, but he is properly
prepared who believes....” There is nothing wrong with fasting in
Lent. It may serve a good purpose if it calls to mind what Christ
suffered for us. Fasting, however, does not serve a good purpose
when it is considered to be a good work by which one earns God’s
forgiveness. Because such abuses arose in connection with the Lenten
fast, the Lutheran church has made the message of Christ and his
cross rather than fasting or self-denial the focus of Lent.
Lent is a time for us to meditate on the meaning of Christ’s
suffering and death, and to concentrate on amending our sinful lives.
This Lenten season will be a blessing to us if we make use of the
special opportunities it offers to gather in God’s house with our
fellow believers, to listen to the history of our Savior’s suffering, to
sing the great hymns of Lent and to hear the preaching of the cross.
Jesus, I will ponder now on your holy passion;
With your Spirit me endow for such meditation.
If you have questions regarding our church, please contact Pastor Janke.
If you have questions regarding our school, please contact Principal Kevin Proeber.
(click here for a word document) or
click Worship Restart on the top menu
"Go and preach the Gospel to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:18-19
709 Milton Ave.Janesville, WI 53545
Contact Pastor James Janke
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