Third Sunday of Advent: Joy

Third Sunday of Advent: Joy
Art by Marlee, age 11, Christ United Methodist Church, Rockford, Illinois.. From the 2021 Prayer Calendar.

Zephaniah 3:14-20, Luke 3:7-18

Advent is a time for waiting and preparation for the coming of Jesus, and for remembering the real meaning of Christmas. We light the candle of JOY on the third Sunday of Advent. It is called the Shepherd’s Candle because of the joy the shepherds felt when they received the good news about Christ’s birth. It is pink because rose is a liturgical color for joy. Advent is also a time for deep reflection on and humble gratitude for the many blessings — and challenges — we have had throughout the year. 

Joy is God’s gift to us through the birth of Jesus, God in the flesh. We can ‘see’ and ‘hear’ joy all around us if we use our spiritual, and not our worldly, eyes and ears.

When we receive Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, we will have a heart filled with joy not just during the Advent season, but throughout the year. We will experience that fruit of the spirit joy that we receive from God and God alone; that fruit of the spirit joy that is not based on circumstances; that fruit of the spirit joy that God gives us… and no one can take it away.

Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, is a joyful occasion. Joy is God’s gift to us… baby Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Joy is God’s gift to us… baby Jesus, who was born to die for all our sins. Our joy does not come from earthly things. Our joy comes from knowing and experiencing the real meaning of Christmas.

May your Christmas be filled with joy!

Deaconess Effie McGill serves as the communications, media, and technology coordinator for Partners in Ministry, a National Mission Institution of United Methodist Women in Laurinburg, NC. She is a member of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

Posted or updated: 12/8/2021 12:00:00 AM

Give Thanks. Give Now.

Advent 2021

November 28: First Sunday of Advent
December 5: Second Sunday of Advent
December 12: Third Sunday of Advent
December 19: Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 31: New Year's Eve