For centuries the Third Sunday of Advent has been a Sunday of Joy in the Christian world. Some churches light pink candles this week. We’re still in Advent, but we’re getting ready to celebrate more fully. We can almost taste it. But then we open the paper and we see that the world is still broken and hurting. The kingdom is on its way, but it has not yet come in fullness. Advent is about expectation and hope.
Mark opens his gospel with these words “the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ.” But the story begins in an unexpected location for most of us. There is no manger, no stable, no anxious parents or newborn baby. We find ourselves not in Bethlehem, but out in the desert with John the Baptist. In that time people were anxious, looking with hope to the coming of the Messiah. John appealed to people with little in common. From the city of Jerusalem to the countryside of Judea, they came streaming out to him at the river Jordan. John wanted them not only to hear about God’s forgiveness, but to be touched by it as well. Mark 1:1-8 is the text for Jonathan’s sermon, “The Touch of Grace.” We’ll be lighting the Third Advent Candle, the Candle of Joy, as we anticipate the fulfillment of the promise of hope and peace in Christ’s coming.
You may purchase tickets at the door for Saturday evening’s Christmas Concert, taking place in the sanctuary at 7 p.m. We expect a full house, so plan to scooch in close to make room for new friends!
See you at church!