And so our third week of Advent begins…
Gaudete is a Latin word for our American word, rejoice.
In light of the devastation that struck America’s heartland two nights ago, we may find it difficult to rejoice. But that is exactly what the focus of the 3rd Advent Sunday is: Gaudete—or “Rejoice.”
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!Philippians 4:4 (NIV)
During Advent, God’s beloved people look ahead with anticipation and expectation in preparation for the celebration of Christmas. Not only do we look forward to Christmas Day, but we also look to the second coming of Christ.
Gaudete Sunday, as the 3rd Sunday of Advent is commonly known, celebrates Christian joy as believers rejoice in the Lord. It is the Sunday of joyfulness and rejoicing. It is a time to reflect on the good things our lives contain and celebrate the blessings the Lord has bestowed upon us.
As we rejoice in the blessings of our lives, we also mourn with those who lost loved ones and lament the lives lost during Friday’s night’s tornadoes. The news of the devastation is heartbreaking.
Thomas Aquinas, an early church theologian, described happiness as the final end of man resulting from an eternal contemplation of God. When we finally stand in the eternal presence of God, we will know what it is to truly be happy. Joy, Aquinas asserts, is not a virtue but rather a result of the virtue of love. Where there is love, Aquinas contends, there is joy.
Today, we wait on the Second Coming of Christ, with joyful anticipation. Let us celebrate God’s goodness to us, His creation.
Lord, we recall the words of Your Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians. Let us not be anxious, but by prayer and petition and with thanksgiving, make our needs and requests known to You, O gracious Lord. May we pray continually throughout the course of our days. God, we lift up those families and neighbors impacted by last week’s tornadoes. May they find great comfort in You, O God. May we rejoice in all we do and say this next week, Almighty God. In Jesus’ name we do pray. Amen.
May the Lord shine His favor on you and those you love this Advent week. Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice!!!
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The Devotional Guy™