Good morning, and welcome everyone to our church! We are glad you can join us for the third Sunday of Advent, a season when the whole Church rejoices at the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
The third Sunday of Advent focuses on joy in the anticipation of the coming of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of John it says, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light so that all might believe through him” (John 1:6-7). John the Baptist said this of Jesus, “the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal” (John1:27). In movies and in books, we hear of servants who dress their masters, and John places himself below the level of those servants. In Christian history, John stands like a giant, righteous and mighty in word and in deed, yet he believed himself unworthy. So, how can we approach Jesus?
In the Christmas story itself, when Christ was born, the very nature and circumstances of his birth allows us to approach him. He was not born in a palace, guarded against the public like Prince George of England, but he was born in humble circumstances. His first visitors were not dignitaries and royalty, but shepherds, invited by angels, common people living on the skirts of civilization. Most importantly, Christ’s message of salvation was for all people.
We anticipate Christ with joy because his message is especially for those who find themselves on the edge of hope, struggling to find joy, identity and intimacy. All around us are things which kill joy, we sometimes kill our own sense of worth through our deep insecurities, and we oftentimes lack true happiness and satisfaction in our family and friends, or lack of family and friends. Jesus Christ meets all of our needs. He is indeed mighty to bear these burdens, to answer our prayers, and to truly give us joy in a season when some of us may struggle to find joy. For all these reasons, we look eagerly forward to Christ’s birth for he truly is a joy to the world. Amen!
And…when do you stop believing in Santa Claus? When you start getting clothes for Christmas.