Today marks the 3rd Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday, a word derived from Latin meaning Rejoice! The pink candle we light this weekend reminds us to consider the amazing impact of a Messiah coming into our midst.
John the Baptist heralded such a coming of a Savior when he called on sinners to repent and “prepare the way of the Lord.” (Mark 1:2-3). Understanding his time on earth was short, one of John’s last acts as King Harrod’s prisoner was to ensure his followers detached themselves entirely from him to become disciples of Jesus.
While not physically robbed of our freedom like the prophet John, we’ve all indeed experienced times in our lives when we sat in a dark place. We may be mourning the death of a loved one, experiencing a personal setback like a loss of employment, or coming up short on a goal; maybe we’ve been struggling with motivation due to depression. Whatever challenge or turbulence we have experienced, please take heart; during these difficult and human times, and know you are not alone. We have a Messiah, Jesus Christ, God’s love made tangible, always desiring to draw closer to us with an enduring light that can conquer any darkness.
That’s why Jesus does not respond to questions with deep theological answers or by quoting prophets in the Gospels. Christ’s life answers any doubt or confusion around His intentions by making the blind see, the lame walk, lepers well, and the deaf hear. REJOICE! In a dark world, our Lord has come to heal and save!
During this third week of Advent, let’s take the pleas of John the Baptist to heart and report only to Jesus. Over the following days before Christmas, let’s share the light of the Lord by loving, giving, listening, and praying for our family, friends, neighbors, and strangers alike. If you need some inspiration to get you going on spreading the Good News, look no further than the Narthex and Good Shepherd Room this weekend, loaded with wrapped gifts supporting Our Giving Tree and Boxes 4 Baltimore programs (thank you for your generosity).
I would also ask that you remember those parishioners and their families who find the holiday season especially difficult in our prayers in the coming days too. And if you are among those struggling to find joy this time of year,
Please join us for our Blue Christmas prayer service on Monday, December 19, at 7 pm in the Church., where we will acknowledge that God’s healing presence is in the midst of our pain.
Finally, next Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Advent, parishioners are encouraged to bring their Bambinelli, the child Jesus from your nativity, to the Church. This Italian custom is a beautiful reminder of a child, born amidst the darkest times of the year, who would serve as a guiding light. And he chooses to dwell in your homes!
In the Lord,
Rev. Michael S. Triplett