Posted by Rev. Jon Dunbar

Readings for Advent 3

Luke 7:18-28; Philippians 4:4-7; Zephaniah 3:14-20

Last week’s Advent theme of repentance was, in one respect, an easy subject to address. One doesn’t have to work too hard to come up with reasons to repent – at least I don’t! But this week’s theme is joy. And just looking around our world today, it can be difficult to find much to rejoice about. Even at home, joy can be elusive – amidst the flurry of school activities, shopping trips, and family conflicts. Sunday’s readings remind us why we rejoice even in this busiest season of the year.

John the Baptist heard about the mighty deeds of Jesus – healing the sick, raising the dead! – and could hardly believe it. “Are you the one,” he asks Jesus, “or should we expect another?” Indeed, Jesus is the one, and his demonstrations of power and mercy continue still to this day (Luke 7). St. Paul calls us to “rejoice in the Lord always”. God’s mighty acts of salvation are to be remembered and celebrated in every season of life – especially the busy ones (Phil 4). The prophet Zephaniah mentions singing as a way we celebrate what God has done for us. He even says that God exults over us with singing! Can you hear God and His angels in heaven joining in as we sing all the wonderful hymns of Advent and Christmas (Zeph 3)? “Oh come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”