Today we Christians begin the second half of the Advent Season as the anticipation, excitement and sheer joy over the coming of the Christ Child fills our prayers and thoughts. This Third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudette Sunday, which wwhen translated from Latin means to rejoice. Indeed we do rejoice as we get ready to celebrate the birth of this Man and God, Jesus Christ, sent to us as a precious little baby born in the most humble of circumstances.
The scripture verse cited above comes from Paul's letter to the Ephesians, where Paul told them to always rejoice in the Christ who was sent to save us from our sins. It is truly a gift that cannot be matched in any way, and God provided it because He loves us and wants us to live for Him and thereby inherit a place in His Kingdom through the grace of Jesus Christ. If we love and serve Him, we can confident that he will get us through all the suffering and pain that we may suffer in the world and ultimately deliver us to a place that is so wondrous as to be unimaginable.
On this Sunday we light the pink or rose colored candle of joy, signifying that we know we are in the second half of the Advent season and also know that the celebration of His birth and His first coming is near. It will mean that His impact on the world will rapidly be accepted and grow, and although there are those who will despise Him and ultimately put Him to death, once He has come His message will thrive and spread and with it the hopes for mankind.
And as it happened and as the future is foretold, upon His brutal death He was resurrected and returned for forty days to continue the marvel of what His birth and what is signifies for us. And in the final three years of his short, thirty-three years of earthly life, the prophesies about Him became true and live on.
He let us know that He will be back for a second coming, a coming which will complete His earthly mission and result in His reign of goodness and light. And it is at that time that we must be prepared and ready for His coming again, for when He does we must have already made our decision to live our lives for Him. If we have done so, we will be with Him for Eternity. If not, well, I'll leave that to each of us to decide what His disappointment in us will mean.
So enjoy Christmastide, pray and love the Son of God during this and every season, and prepare for the table that He so graciously offers us. To miss this opportunity would be foolhardy, in fact, it would be downright dark. Do you want to bask in the warmth and light that He offers or end up in a cold and dark tomb of emptiness and regret? The choice is yours to make and no time is better than this time of year. Choose wisely now and live.