Pastor Shawn Hannon
Hope Lutheran Church, Arcade, NY
The third Sunday in Advent (if you’re keeping track at home) is traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice. God is breaking into our world, and that is, above all things, a reason to be joyful.
There’s a little piece of the Christmas story where joy abounds in one of the most unlikely places. Mary, the mother of Jesus, has recently found out she was pregnant, and went with haste to the home of a woman named Elizabeth, who was also with child. When Mary greeted Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s baby jumped within her at the sound. The moment the child in the womb heard the greeting he leapt “for joy” (Luke 1:44).
This is the season for peace, hope, love and joy, but do you know what separates joy from the rest? We pray for peace, hope and love. We pray that God would give us those things and we would be able to return them to him and our neighbor. But joy, in it’s most genuine form, is a spontaneous, involuntary reaction.
My children helped teach me that. Fridays are my special days with my three children It’s my day off and their mother works. All day we spend together playing with toys, watching “tv shows and generally doing things their mother would simply not allow.
We have a blast. But the moment Mommy returns from work I am reminded where I fall in my Children’s world. The moment my wife walks through the door, all three of my children radiate a joy no amount of sugary drinks or acrobatics have been able to muster all day. When Mommy arrives home the sound is our delightful.
Even if we didn’t have a Sunday to remind us, we would not be able to help but rejoice. When Jesus comes, a weary soul and world rejoices. We may have to wait until he’s grown for the message, until he’s dead for the forgiveness, and until he rises again for new life, but the moment he enters our world we get the joy.
So may we sing the Advent hymn with new vigor this joyful season:
JOY TO THE WORLD… THE LORD IS COMING
For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott and Pastor Shawn’s past columns, please visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.