Today is the 4th Sunday in Advent…Christmas eve is just four days away. And we REJOICE!
Today, at St. James Anglican Church, we celebrated the 4th Sunday in Advent and lit the fourth candle.
C. Behold, the Desire of all nations shall come…
R. and the house of the Lord shall be filled with glory, Alleluia.
Scripture Reading…. Baruch 4:36, 5:1-4
O Jerusalem, look about thee toward the east, and behold the joy that cometh unto thee from God. Put off, O Jerusalem the garment of thy mourning and affliction, and put on the comeliness of the glory that cometh from God for ever. Cast about thee a double garment of the righteousness which cometh from God; and set a diadem on thine head of the glory of the Everlasting. For God will show thy brightness unto every country under heaven. For thy name shall be called of God for ever The Peace Of Righteousness, and The Glory of God’s Worship.
C. Christ, arise, help us.
R. And deliver us for thy Name’s sake.
C.. Come and save us, O Lord God of hosts.
R. Show the light of thy countenance, and we shall be whole.
C. The Lord be with you ..
R. And with thy spirit.
C. Let us pray. Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that the coming festival of our redemption may bring us aid in this present life, and bounteously bestow the rewards of eternal blessedness. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord, R. Amen
THE EPISTLE: Philippians 4:4
Brethren: Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord.
And a reflection about Rejoicing:
Fanny Crosby (Mrs. Frances Jane Van Alstyne), a blind poet, wrote thousands of gospel songs including “Blessed Assurance,” “Rescue the Perishing” and “Saved by Grace.” Here’s a story about her from, Our Daily Bread (August 12, 2003):
Fanny Crosby lost her sight when she was only 6 weeks old. She lived into her nineties, composing thousands of beloved hymns. On her 92nd birthday she cheerfully said, “If in all the world you can find a happier person than I am, do bring him to me. I should like to shake his hand.”
What enabled Fanny Crosby to experience such joy in the face of what many would term a “tragedy”? At an early age she chose to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). In fact, Fanny carried out a resolution she made when she was only 8 years old: “How many blessings I enjoy that other people don’t. To weep and sigh because I’m blind, I cannot and I won’t.”
Let’s remember that “the joy of the Lord is [our] strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Let’s also take comfort in the teachings of Jesus, who in John 15:11 said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” When faced with the choice of self-pity or rejoicing, let’s respond with rejoicing.