LITURGY

Third Sunday of Advent

cross

 


WORD OF GOD
The Lord has repealed your sentence;
he has driven your enemies away.
The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst;
you have no more evil to fear.
(Zephaniah 3:15)
 

WORD FOR TODAY
Far from being a religion of fear, Christianity sets us free to enjoy life to the full. Gaudete (‘Rejoice’) Sunday brims over with the good news that our God comes to liberate us from all those things which otherwise would strike terror and despair in our hearts. Today we proclaim our trust in God, and God agrees to dance at our feast.

WORDS FOR WORSHIP
As we joyfully await the advent of God’s rule in our world, we turn to the Father and pray in Christ’s own words that God’s kingdom will come. Our Father......

FAITH IN FOCUS: HAPPY AND GLORIOUS
It was easier for the first Christians to have that sense of expectancy about the return of Jesus at the second coming. They were closer to him in time, and the sense of urgency was more pronounced. 2000 years later we have to make an effort to remind ourselves that the second coming is something real and not just a fairy tale.
The early Church felt that the Lord was very near and his return was imminent. So St Paul exhorts them to be happy at all times. This happiness is not just a pleasant feeling. It’s real joy, and joy is a much deeper thing than happiness.
When a grandmother is given a birthday present by a grandchild, she feels happy at the gift. But deep down she feels a more profound emotion. She feels a warmth, a sense of wellbeing, a glow of pride at having brought up her family and been given strength to see them grow to maturity. A pride and satisfaction that is symbolised in the action of the young child. If the gift breaks she will feel unhappy, but that deeper joy cannot be so easily shattered.
That’s the difference between happiness and joy. Oddly enough, you can experience joy even when you are unhappy. And as we wait for the final coming of Jesus, as we celebrate Advent, we are urged like the early Church to shout for joy, to rejoice, to exult and share in God’s glory.
Our faith does not change what happens to us in life. We do not embark on an Advent pretence that all is rosy in our world, that happiness is on every street corner. But what our faith does allow to do is to view things in a broader perspective. Christ came, and will come again, to set us free, to liberate us from despair and futility. If we really believe this, then we carry around with us a joy that the world cannot understand and which can never be taken away from us.
Advent stands as a sign that Christ is Lord of all creation, of all situations. We do not simply look forward to the crib and the carol service. On this “Gaudete” (Rejoice) Sunday we expect a final visitation that will vindicate the whole reason for our Christian existence. And that’s the reason for our joy.

TO CONTACT US: OUR LADY OF LOURDES FLEMING FIELD SHOTTON  COLLIERY DURHAM DH6 2JQ         

 


Copyright © 2013 | All Rights Reserved