Malankara World

Advent - Week 3 - Waiting for the Savior

Advent Week 3 - 3 Candles

Advent Reflections for December 16

Advent Reflections for December 16

Week 3 - Sunday

Today is traditionally called "Gaudete Sunday" in the west. The Latin word "gaudete" means "rejoice."

Opening Prayer

O God, who see how your people
faithfully await the feast of the Lord's Nativity,
enable us, we pray,
to attain the joys of so great a salvation,
and to celebrate them always
with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.

Prayer for the Advent Wreath

Lord, our God, we praise You for Your Son,
Jesus Christ, for He is Emmanuel, the Hope of all people.
He is the Wisdom that teaches and guides us.
He is the Savior of us all.

O Lord,
let your blessing come upon us as we light two (purple) candles and the third (pink) of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ's promise of salvation.
May He come quickly and not delay.
We ask this in His holy name. Amen.


"(The desert) will bloom with abundant flowers and rejoice with joyful song." "Rejoice in the Lord always!" "Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!"

The Scriptures for the Third Sunday of Advent proclaim their message in no uncertain terms: Rejoice! Joy is all around us and our celebration of Advent calls us to discover it. The joy that the Scripture passages speak about is not a joy that equates with hilarious laughter. It is a joy that comes from a security with our God, those around us, and our place in the world. It is the joy Isaiah describes when he writes, "I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul." It is a joy that cannot be bought or obtained from artificial highs. It is a joy that comes from our living faith in a living God.

It is the joy we feel as we approach the birth of our Savior and remember the awesome beauty of what happened on that cold Bethlehem night.


Why Am I Doing This?

She lived alone, as so many do. And she felt it especially at Christmas, as so many do.

Decorating her Christmas tree, she began to argue with herself, an argument she'd had several times before in these days before Christmas. "Why am I doing this? No one will see it, and I don't need it."

Then she heard herself say, "You have to do this. Not so that others will see it, but to remind yourself that the hope is real not just words or a dream. It's real. Jesus really did come. And so you really have a tree, and you decorate it, and you buy real gifts, and you go to Midnight Mass, and you have a real Christmas dinner.

"This is how you keep the hope alive and real."

God's Big Dream

John the Baptist did what God wanted him to do he prepared the way for Jesus.

But John never lived to see the results. It wasn't long after the incident in today's Gospel that John was killed.

Now here's a thought.

Am I willing to be part of something, invest myself in something that I'll never live to see fully accomplished?

Some of those great cathedrals in Europe took over 100 years to build. People could work on one all their lives, knowing they'd never live to see it finished.

Well, God's plans for this world are far greater than our minds can grasp. God's dream is a big dream. It includes all creation.

There will come a time when there is peace, and wholeness, and truth, and love. But I doubt any of us will live to see it.

So, do I throw up my hands and give up? Do I just try to get out of life what I can in the few years I've got?

That's the question.

Am I willing to invest myself in a great work God's work that I'll never live to see finished?

Spend some quiet time with the Lord.

See Also:

Next Day (December 17) | Previous Day (December 15)

Advent Week 3

Advent Week 2

Advent Week 1

Malankara World Advent Supplement

Malankara World Christmas Supplement

MW Advent Supplement | MW Christmas Supplement | Sermons Home | Malankara World Journal | Library - Home

Malankara World
A service of St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio
Copyright © 2009-2020 - ICBS Group. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer
Website designed, built, and hosted by International Cyber Business Services, Inc., Hudson, Ohio