The Third Sunday in Advent – Sunday School Christmas Program

Rev. John Shaver

Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 9:00am and 10:30am

My Post (39)

“It is not joy that makes us grateful. It is gratitude that makes us joyful.” D. Rast

As I think about the upcoming third Sunday in Advent, it has always been a special time for me and for many. I remember my church friends and I would wait with great anticipation for the pink candle on the Advent wreath to be lit. At that stage of life, it meant Christmas, presents, and winter break would soon be here!

In one of my seminary classes, I learned of a much deeper understanding of the "pink candle" This coming Sunday has a special name: "Gaudete" Sunday. The traditions surrounding the Third Sunday of Advent go back as far as the 4th or 5th century. Advent, our preparation for Christmas, was originally a 40-day penitential season, like Lent. In fact, since it used to begin on November 12th, it was called "St. Martin's Lent." "Gaudete Sunday" was the Advent counterpart to "Laetare Sunday," which marked the mid-point in Lent.

The word "Gaudete" is Latin for "Rejoice." In days when the focus of our anticipation is often full of feelings of hurriedness, this celebration is a reminder that God, who loves us, will be with us in all that we are facing.

I hope you'll make it a priority to be with us this Gaudete - Sunday of Joy to celebrate the many gifts of God. Here's a quick reminder of all that will be happening Sunday:

8 AM Worship in the Chapel with Communion

9 AM and 10:30 AM Worship in the Sanctuary - Joyful Worship - Children's Pageant and the  Choir (the Bosco family will also be with us to light the Third Advent Candle).

7 PM The Chancel Choir, Soloists, and Orchestra will share the Christmas Portions of Messiah!

I look forward to letting go of the worldly cares and sharing God's gift of Joy this Sunday!

Grace, Peace, and Joy, John

PS Invite a friend or share one of our social media invites to help others experience this Joy.

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