THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT – Joy
One: We have lit the first two candles, one for hope and one for peace. Today we light the third candle, the candle of joy. Joy is a beautiful gift of God; a gift He plants deep within. But how often do we let our preparations—or our memories—push joy to the side?
Joy is like an underground spring that wells up within us, but joy is also a choice, an attitude. Like a muscle, it needs to be exercised. So today we open ourselves to joy, trusting that God has already planted it in us. All we need to do is give it care and offer it to share.
I invite you right now, to take a moment and light a candle with us as we focus our minds and hearts on God, who is our Joy.
(Light three candles)
One: Let’s pray together, this prayer
All: Loving God, we open ourselves to you,
trusting that this is your plan for us:
you have redeemed us for joy-filled hearts and lives.
Show us the power of hope.
Teach us the peace that comes from Your presence.
Fill us with the kind of joy that cannot be contained but must be shared.
Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you,
That we may walk in the light of Christ.
One: Rejoice in God always, and again I say, rejoice
For God has created you with the capacity for joy.
All: We will seek the One who makes us joyful,
And make the joy we find in Him our gift to the world.
One: Trust in God’s good will for all of creation
and open yourself to God’s gentle, transforming love.
All: We will welcome new possibilities in our lives.
We will offer ourselves to God’s goodness.
We will go forth in hope, and peace, and joy. Amen.
One: Today we are going to be reading from Isaiah 42:1-13
The Servant of the Lord
42 “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discourage till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”
5 This is what God the Lord says—the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:
6 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
8 “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being, I announce them to you.”
Song of Praise to the Lord
10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the ends of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
you islands, and all who live in them.
11 Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices;
let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela sing for joy;
let them shout from the mountaintops.
12 Let them give glory to the Lord
and proclaim his praise in the islands.
13 The Lord will march out like a champion,
like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;
with a shout he will raise the battle cry
and will triumph over his enemies.
What hinders you from abiding in Jesus?
What is one thing today you can do today to partner with Jesus and love your neighbour?