Time to Rejoice!

By: Reverend J. Loren Russell

Philippians 4:4-7 NKJV

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

This third Sunday of the Advent season is a bold reminder that this is a season to rejoice! This third Sunday is the day that the pink candle is lit. The pink candle is also known as the Shepherd candle, or the candle of Joy. It brings to memory the multitudes of angels that joyfully announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds who were in the field.

In my sanctified imagination, I see more Angels gathered to announce the arrival of Christ than the hundreds of thousands of people who gather in Times Square on New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop. The angels realized the magnitude of the moment and gathered themselves to proclaim good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. They shared the good news that the Messiah was born.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippian church and encouraged them to always rejoice in the Lord…, then repeated it for emphasis, “Again I will say, rejoice.”

Rejoicing means more than an emotional high. Paul says that it includes gentleness toward others, remaining calm in the face of adversity, being fervent in our prayers, and being thankful for the many blessings the Lord has so graciously given to us. This is a posture of rejoicing, a position that allows us to experience the peace of God that passes all understanding. This all happens while Christ Jesus guards our hearts and minds.

The rejoicing started with the announcement by the angels at His arrival, continued after His resurrection at the tomb, went beyond the Day of His Ascension, and will climax upon His return.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at www.smashwords.com/books/view/993177)

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