Third Sunday of Advent: Joy!

posted Dec 13, 2019, 6:13 AM by Tricia Sheffield   [ updated Dec 13, 2019, 6:13 AM ]

Blessings of Advent hope and peace be with you!

For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (Isaiah 55.12).

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete (John 15.10-11).

In a few days we will enter into the Third Sunday of Advent. It’s one of my favorite Sundays during Advent because the gift of pure love coming down to us in the birth of a Savior will give us abiding joy. Joy! We can rejoice in this gift because the Lord will be living among us, and this Lord will give us his joy and renew us in his love.

On the Third Sunday of Advent, we are waiting and hoping and expecting the good news of God’s love that will bring great joy for all the world. God is becoming flesh to show us how much God loves us, and this love is about to change us and everything . . . forever.

So, in preparation for this joyous Sunday, I invite you to pray, meditate, and think with me on two questions. First, where are you experiencing Christ’s joy in your life right now? Second, where would you like to experience Christ’s joy in your life so that your joy may be complete? My Advent prayer for you, beloved one, is that the first question will have far more answers than the second question. And I hope that you will pause and take the time to give thanks for the joy Christ has given you, and also, to look forward in hope to the joy God is sending into the world through the birth of a Savior. 

Come this Sunday at 10:30 AM to celebrate the joy of God’s salvation! We have extraordinary music planned for this worship. Dan Pannebaker will be our worship leader; the Joyful Noise Adult Choir will sing “Prepare Ye!” for the Prelude and "A Star, A Song, A Sign” for the Offertory with Sarah Gordon on flute; and Tim Anderson will be our featured soloist singing "Comfort Ye!/ Every Valley” by Handel. I will be preaching from Isaiah 35.1-10 and Matthew 11.2-11 and my sermon title is Are You the One? 

Like a mother experiencing birth pangs, all of creation groans with expectation waiting for the birth of a child that gives us good news of great joy. Let us rejoice in this soon-coming birth, sharing in the songs of angels and the gladness of shepherds. Joy to the world, the Lord is coming soon! 

In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish