December 11, 2018
Zephaniah 3:14–20, Philippians 4:4–7, Luke 7:18–28 (29–35)
Alleluia. Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you. Alleluia.
Rejoice. This Sunday, we celebrate the “rejoice” week of Advent. Visually, this means we light the rose or pink colored candle in the Advent wreath. Audibly, this means we hear the word rejoice in the Epistle, Introit and Gradual during the church service. Spiritually, this means that we celebrate the coming of our Savior and find comfort in the gifts that he brings. With this heavy emphasis on rejoicing, this seems like it would be a great week for all those who gather in worship. But for many, this time of year is laden with many emotions and memories that lead them to a variety of reactions other than rejoicing. For those who mourn, there is sadness. For those who want, there is need. For others there is loneliness, fear, being overwhelmed, and disappointment coupled with a whole host of other emotions that do not readily lend themselves to rejoicing. This Sunday is as much for them as it is for those who are brimming with excitement and anticipation as they rejoice this season. The Sunday of rejoicing is for all people because we can say with confidence, “Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation.” This truly is good news for all people because it means that with the coming of our King, we will be reunited with those who have died in the faith, our needs will be met, the promises of God will be fulfilled, and our souls will all magnify the Lord. That King has already been born and during His life He gave us a glimpse of what was yet to come; for this we rejoice. It is in this rejoicing that we now reside because the King is coming again and for that we can hardly wait.
Lord Jesus Christ, we implore You to hear our prayers and to lighten the darkness of our hearts by Your gracious visitation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you.