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Today is the 3rd Sunday of Advent; one more Sunday left before Christmas. The first two Advent candles, the HOPE and PEACE candles, are relit. Then the third Advent candle representing JOY is lit. Many traditions use a pink candle on this day.
In his blog today, noted author and Biblical teacher, Scot McKnight writes about the third Advent candle.
This is the candle of JOY. As the coming of Jesus, our Savior, draws nearer, our joy builds with our anticipation of his birth.
From the Book of Isaiah we read the words of our Lord:
“But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight.”
– Isaiah 65:18
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writing from prison before he was killed by the Nazis, penned the following lines.
“Life in a prison cell may well be compared to Advent. One waits, hopes, and does this, that, or the other–things that are really of no consequence–the door is shut, and can only be opened from the outside.”
“It’s still not (yet) Christmas, but it’s also still not the great last Advent, the last coming of Christ. Through all the Advents of our life that we celebrate, there runs the longing for the last Advent, when the word will be, “See, I am making all things new!”
“The Advent season is a season of waiting, but our whole life is an Advent season, that is, a season of waiting for the last Advent, for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth. “
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Tegel Prison, 1943 (separate letters)
Third Advent is a time of reflection upon the JOY ancient people of faith were expecting, the JOY of Jesus’ birth, and the JOY of anticipation of His return. May your Advent be filled with JOY!