The third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday because “Rejoice” (Latin word is gaudate) is the theme for the day: Rejoice always. It’s the Sunday we light the pink candle.
In a sarcastic mood we might ask, “What is there to rejoice over?” The economy is tough, the unemployed are hurting, children still go to bed hungry. What is there to rejoice about?
But hope “perches in the soul” (Emily Dickinson). As the Thessalonians, we can remain hope-filled through our conviction that Jesus Christ will return. Indeed, he is here. Look in Santa’s Salvation Army bucket … watch food baskets, toys and new shoes change people’s lives. Yes, when we kneel in church this Sunday and hear, “Rejoice,” we will find our hearts rejoicing.