As we continue to live out our Christian faith in the midst of this Advent season, we approach Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word for rejoice. On this Sunday we often light a candle that is a different color (e.g., pink) than the others in recognition of our joy that is made complete in the coming of our Lord.
As we look forward to our celebration of the 3rd Sunday of Advent this weekend, consider these thoughts on joy from Paul Sheneman’s Illuminate: An Advent Experience.
“Hope and peace are now accompanied by great joy as we anticipate the celebration of the birth of the Son of God that is only two weeks away. God’s presence in our activities and prayers is the reason for our deep sense of joy.
Christian joy is greater than the joy the world offers. The world offers us joy in sleek-designed gadgets wrapped in shiny paper. The world’s joy lasts only for a time. Christian joy flows from memories of all the ways God was present in the impossible moments of life. Money from an unknown donor, survival from a severe illness or accident, and an encouraging word in a time of despair—all are examples of God’s presence in life’s impossible moments. Add all those stories to the countless stories from the time of Genesis to today, and you have reason for great joy. So let’s throw all of our efforts into joyfully preparing for the celebration of our Savior, who has come and will come again.”
Let us search for the light of joy that illumines others, in ourselves and in our community and world.