Today is the third Sunday of Advent and with its arrival we draw ever closer to the glorious day of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Also notable is the significance of the color of Advent candle on the wreath which is pink or rose colored for this third Sunday. This candle represents joy since as in we have almost made it to Christmas, a most Holy and joyous celebration which is part of the first phase of the church year. The name, Gaudete Sunday, comes from the Latin word for rejoice.
The other three candles surrounding the center and large white candle are all purple or violet. That's because the first and second weeks represent preparation and penitence while the fourth represents royalty since Jesus was of the lineage of the House of David. Placed on a backdrop of the evergreen wreath representing life, the entire lighting by Christmas Eve in most traditions will mean that the Light of Life, represented by the larger center white candle, has finally arrived in the personage of a little baby born under very humble circumstances.
The symbolism of the Advent wreath in conjunction with the story it supports is quite wonderful and majestic. The King of Kings comes to earth born in a manger and, after thirty years of preparation and growth, he embarks on a three year teaching and preaching mission which changes the world. People learn of Him and yearn for Him everywhere, yet the authorities fear and scorn Him due to their fear of losing their status and power. Finally, after an exalting entry of triumph into Jerusalem He is within a matter of days tried and put to death in the most horrific manner at the behest of Jewish leaders who refuse to open their eyes to the Truth. And this God in the form of Man did it all for us so that we might escape sin and gain Everlasting Life.
It's an utterly amazing story, one that will not die no matter what evil tries to accomplish on this earth, and we should all have comfort knowing that God has so much love for us that He would sacrifice His only Son for us. And soon He will return again, although we know not the exact time, to reclaim the earth for His glory. Prepare yourself and praise His name.
Have a wonderful third Advent Sunday with Christ and God bless you all.