Rejoice! (by Gerri Porteous)

Daylight grows shorter. The dark of night grows longer. In this cold dark time of year, with some of the first signs of snow in the north, lights begin to shine. They are on trees and in windows. It’s as if people are afraid of the dark and all it symbolizes.

A spirit of expectation begins to pick up: shopping trips, gift wrapping, parties, a different kind of music, and a plethora of decorations. It’s obvious that something wonderful is about to happen. In the midst of all this excitement, worshipers are reminded to be watchful, to repent and to do penance. The gospel message parallels a familiar song heard during this time of year: “You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why: ______________ is coming to town!”

The color purple inside churches clashes with red, green, sparkling silver and gold everywhere else. Young and old alike, prepare to celebrate Christmas by taking part in a variety of traditions, some of them not quite associated with preparation for the mystery of the birth of our Messiah.

Yes, someone “is coming to town.” Let us prepare the way of the Lord!

This Sunday, we light the rose colored candle on our Advent wreath – the Shepherd Candle (the candle of joy).

Let us pray…

Father in heaven, help us hear again the voice of John the Baptist crying out in the desert. Help us make straight the pathways of our own lives so that those paths lead to eternal life with you.

God above, do good and avoid evil is so easy to say; yet so hard to put into practice. Be with us in each and every moment of each and every day so that we remain blameless and worthy of your coming.

Help us, Lord, not to dampen the joy of others. Remind us this week to rejoice always and to pray without ceasing.

Holy Spirit, guide us so that our lives may be testimony of the wonders and the love of God, so that others might believe through us