KEEPING ADVENT Sunday, December 11, 2016
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.’
Light three candles.
On this Third Sunday of Advent we add the light of the pink candle. This particular Sunday is sometimes referred to as Rose Sunday, or Gaudete Sunday - a day in the midst of Advent to rejoice in anticipation of the coming of the Savior.
Of course, the circumstances of our lives don't always point us in the direction of joy. That was certainly the case for John the Baptist, who had looked with eager longing for the coming of the Messiah. Now John is in prison, and he has his doubts. There is no reason to be joyful in the dank isolation of a prison cell.
Jesus sends John a word and it is this: Hear and see. All that you hoped for is happening. Beyond the prison bars and in the midst of the hurts and hate in this world, there is yet another reality: lives are being healed, fulfilled, and changed.
We light three candles today. Some of us may have reason to rejoice. Others of us may have reason to doubt or to fear. All of us, however, are invited to hear, and by the light of three candles to see that beneath us, around us, and in all of us, Jesus Christ is bringing about new life.
Light three candles. See. Hear.