Third Sunday of Advent
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!” (Phil 4: 4-7)
The third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday; we are to put aside our earthly concerns and troubles and fill ourselves with joy. Joy at the anticipated coming of our Savior and rejoicing for the many blessings He brings.
So many times I see people in stores or in the malls who appear to be in such a rush at this time of year. On the roads it seems drivers are even more rude and in a hurry than usual. Everyone is hurrying to prepare for Christmas. Sadly, it is all too often the secular Christmas that has become the focus in our society. Little thought is given to the true joy of the season.
If we are to experience the real meaning of the season we need to take a break from the rush, hurry, spend and buy attitude. I’m sure most of us still have things needing to be done before Christmas but we can’t let those things replace the joy of the season by turning it into just another exercise in frustration.
Take the time to light the advent candle and say a prayer of joyful expectation for the coming of Jesus. Sit down and read some from the bible; get to know Jesus a bit better. He is coming to save us from sin, to offer us peace, joy and happiness in heaven. Those are things we should be focused on rather than the earthly celebration of money, gifts and cards that will be in the trash next week.
Sit down with your children and talk about what Christmas really means. Tell them of the real St. Nicholas. Perhaps read Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Help them understand that the love and caring in the Cratchit family is worth far more than all the money Scrooge had accumulated.
Call a friend or family member you’ve not spoken to for a while and wish them the joy of Christmas. Visit a sick or elderly neighbor who may have no family to visit them. Think of the joy you can spread by just taking a few minutes to sit and talk with them. Let them tell you of their memories and share your own.
When someone pushes ahead of you at the store, wish them a Merry Christmas; ask God to bless the driver who just cut you off rather than swearing at them. Let go of the angst, hurry and frustration so many experience during this season and rest in the joy of our Lord’s coming. Come, Lord Jesus!