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The Fourth Sunday of Advent


“John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness,

proclaiming a baptism of repentance

for the forgiveness...

The Fourth Sunday of Advent : December 24

December 24, 2017

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The Third Sunday of Advent : December 17

December 17, 2017

The Third Sunday of Advent



Crying Out


    "... the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

'Prepare the way of the Lord,

make his paths straight.' "

Mark 1: 3


Reflecting on the text


The herald cries out in the wilderness; the Common English Bible translates "cries out" as "shouts."  And the wilderness shouts out its joy when the Messiah comes; it rejoices and blossoms like the desert rose.  The symbol of the rose recalls the prophetic vision of  Isaiah 35.  Growth, joy, life - the birth of the Messiah transforms all creation.  In art, literature, and poetry over the centuries, Jesus Christ himself was symbolized by a rose.  The custom of using the rose as an Advent symbol can be traced back to the 13th century.  It was Martin Luther's favorite symbol of the Christian faith.  It blooms among us as a sign of hope and joy at the center of our Chancel cross.


Lighting the candles


Light the first and second candles (purple)

on the Advent wreath;

light the third candle (rose) for hope and joy, even in our wildernesses.

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