Messiah Lutheran Church -- Charlotte, NC
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8300 Providence Rd. just south of the Arboretum and Hwy 51 (Pineville-Matthews Rd).  Map.

December 2016 Message PDF Print E-mail

Test Your “Advent IQ”

Pastor Ron Wiese


Here are some questions to test how much you know about the Advent Season:


True or False: Jesus left His disciples explicit directions about how to celebrate the Church Year.

The word “Advent” means:

            a) coming  

            b) thankful 

            c) Christmas shopping in full swing 

            d) a new beginning.


True or False: Advent has always been a somber, penitential season.


The appropriate color of Advent is (choose one):

       a) blue 

       b) purple 

       c) pink 

       d) all the above

       e) none of the above


True or False: The Advent wreath traditionally used four candles.


The Advent wreath originated

            a) in medieval France 

            b) with Martin Luther 

            c) devised by a German pastor in 1830 

            d) with the 1st century Church


True or False: Advent always begins on the first Sunday in December.


True or False: Advent makes its presence known by certain decorations in the church.


True or False: Each Advent candle has a special, symbolic meaning: the first candle is “hope,” the second candle is “love”, the third candle “joy,” and the fourth ”peace.”




False. Jesus gave no specific instructions on how to celebrate His birth, death or resurrection. Over the years, the Church Year was developed as a useful tool to guide Christian worship.


The word “Advent” means “coming” and refers to the three-fold coming of Jesus: His first coming as the Messiah, His coming to us now through His Word and Sacrament, and His final coming at the End of Time.


False. In Gaul, Advent was viewed as a companion of Lent, but in Rome the emphasis was on preparing for Christ’s incarnation and was thus more joyful.


All the above. Originally, Advent candles were whatever color was available. Today many Advent wreaths have 3 purple and 1 rose candle or 4 blue candles.


True. The traditional Advent wreath includes four candles, with one lit the first week and additional candles on following weeks. Sometimes a white candle is put in the center and lit on Christmas Eve.


We don’t know. Candles were used by early Christians to represent the presence of Christ. The evergreen came to symbolize eternal life. We don’t know for sure when the two were joined together.


False. Advent begins on the closest day to November 30th. This year it is November 27th.


True. Look around the church nave and see all the symbols of Advent, including the Advent wreath, the paraments and the Chrismon tree (going up on December 11th).


False. There is no specific meaning or symbolism of the candles, except as a ”count-down” to Christmas. The Advent Season, along with the wreath and other traditions, was created by the Christian Church as a way to “make time Christian.”




Modified from an “Advent IQ” test created by Martha Israel who served for many years as Pastor Wiese’s Parish Assistant and Organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Memphis, TN.







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Sample ImagePastor Steve was born and raised in Oregon. After graduating from Willamette University with degrees in German and International Studies, he worked in various vocations that taught him how to work in teams with diverse people.  As a project manager in the computer tech industry in the 90’s, he began to feel God’s call to become a pastor. In 2003, he took a huge leap of faith, selling his business and two homes to drive to Saint Louis for the first time and begin Seminary training.



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