On this third Sunday in Advent we light the twelfth candle on our Advent spiral and remember back on how far we’ve come. Is it really possible that we’re already half way there? We remember that the First Sunday and week in Advent (November 26th) was about hope and the Second Sunday and week in Advent (December 5th) was about peace. This week is about joy.
We pray –
O Emmanuel, Jesus Christ,
desire of every nation,
Savior of all peoples,
come and dwell among us.
O King of all nations, Jesus Christ,
only joy of every heart,
come and save your people.
O Key of David, Jesus Christ,
the gates of heaven open at your command,
come and show us the way to salvation.
And we read Isaiah 9:1-7 –
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
light! sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation,
you expanded its joy.
Oh, they’re so glad in your presence!
The joy of a great celebration,
sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
all their whips and cudgels and curses—
Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian.
The boots of all those invading troops,
along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned,
a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
over that promised kingdom.
He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing
and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
will do all this.
And we remind ourselves that Jesus taught us to pray “give us today our daily bread.” We live in the First World and have more than so many others. We never worry over where our next meal will come from and so often forget to be thankful – joyful for that very basic fact. We’re called to share and know we’ll find joy in the process.
Many thanks to ChurchYear.net for their wonderful Advent resource that makes up the vast majority of our family’s personal liturgy.