We light this candle as a symbol of Christ our Joy.
May the joyful promise of your presence,
O God, make us rejoice in our hope of salvation.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:10
On this third Sunday of Advent I would like to share with you a devotional reading from My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers
My Joy . . . Your Joy
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. John 15:11
What was the joy that Jesus had? It is an insult to use the word happiness in connection with Jesus Christ. The joy of Jesus was the absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice of Himself to His Father, the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do. “I delight to do Thy will.” Jesus prayed that our joy might go on fulfilling itself until it was the same joy as His. Have I allowed Jesus Christ to introduce His joy to me?
The full flood of my life is not in bodily health, not in external happenings, not in seeing God’s work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God, and in the communion with Him that Jesus Himself had. The first thing that will hinder this joy is the captious irritation of thinking out circumstances. The cares of this world, said Jesus, will choke God’s word. Before we know where we are, we are caught up in the shows of things. All that God has done for us is the mere threshold; He wants to get us to the place where we will be His witnesses and proclaim Who Jesus is.
Be rightly related to God, find your joy there, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. Be a center for Jesus Christ to pour living water through. Stop being self-conscious, stop being a sanctified prig, and live the life hid with Christ. The life that is rightly related to God is as natural as breathing wherever it goes. The lives that have been of most blessing to you are those who were unconscious of it.
I agree with Mr. Chambers, our task is to be witnesses, to proclaim Christ to the world. How many people have you told about Jesus during these first three weeks of Advent?
There our people all around us who hunger for true joy and they are not finding it because they are looking in the wrong places. Joy isn’t found in the Christmas that is celebrated in most places because Christ is not to be found there. We live in a culture that is becoming openly hostile to Jesus but we must be bold in our proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ or so many will be lost to eternal damnation.
God sent Christ into the world to save the world.
All that was needed, Jesus did.
Salvation declined is like a gift never opened.
Have you opened your gift?
JOY TO THE WORLD! THE LORD IS COME:
LET EARTH RECEIVE HER KING;
LET EVERY HEART PREPARE HIM ROOM,
AND HEAVEN AND NATURE SING.