This Sunday is the Third Sunday of Advent; also, liturgically known as “Gaudete” Sunday.  In Latin, “Gaudete” means “rejoice.”  It is also one of two Sundays on the church calendar in which the color is “Pink” or “Rose.”  In the middle of the Season of Advent, a season of preparing and anticipating, we are reminded to experience joy, one of the fruits of the spirit.

In 2014, Pope Francis said that Gaudete Sunday is known as the “Sunday of Joy,” and that instead of fretting about “all they still haven’t done to prepare for Christmas, people should ‘think of all the good things life has given you.’”  However, for me this year, after an unbelievable number of family deaths, I’m counting on having joy despite the circumstances of facing the holidays season without precious loved ones for the first time.

The assigned text for this “Gaudete Sunday” from Luke 1, deals with a situation in which Mary, had the kind of joy that made her rejoice, when the circumstances of her life as an unwed pregnant teenager was anything but a happy situation.  How did she have joy in such a circumstance? 

Perhaps centuries before Carlos Santana said it, Mary knew that “If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.”  Or as Russell Nelson would come to say, “The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives, and everything to do with the focus of our lives.”  So, Mary found herself that first Advent – Waiting, Full of Joy.”  Let it be so for us this Advent 2023

          Join us for worship on this “Gaudete (Pink) Sunday,” in person, by Zoom, Facebook Livestream or YouTube.  If in person wear something pink if you can. Our Joyful Souls Theatre Ministry will present a short seasonal skit and my sermon will be “Waiting; Full of Joy,” based on “I Thessalonians 5:16-18” and “Luke 1:46b-50.” 

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