Advent Rejocing

 

Advent, is a season of preparation and therefore we restrain from singing the hymn of praise.

Back in the sixth century it was considered Advent was considered a minor Lent and extended back to about November 10 to match the 40 days of lent.  The Sunday lessons concentrated on the return of Christ.  “Stay Awake” was the watch word.  “You know neither the time nor the hour.” The color purple reflected its association with Lent.

Later Advent was shortened to four weeks.  More recently, the Advent color was changed to blue, representing hope and anticipation.

All that brings us down to the third Sunday in Advent, the Sunday of the pink candle, the candle of joy.  Zephaniah writes, “Sing aloud, o daughter of Zion… Rejoice and exult with all your heart.” In the epistle from Philippians, Paul urges, “rejoice always; again I will say, Rejoice.”  “The Lord is at hand. And the peace of God…will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Though John the Baptizer has some questions about Jesus, Jesus says to tell him that people have plenty of reason rejoice.  “The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the good news preached to them.”

Therefore, as we read in Zephaniah, “Fear not…let not your hands grow weak.  The Lord is in your midst, a mighty one to save, he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love…

Thus even as we rejoice in the Lord, the Lord is rejoicing over us.

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