Joy to the World

NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR ‘PINK’ SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2014

‘joy to the world’

If you noticed the heading, you undoubtedly caught that I referred to this coming Sunday as ‘Pink’ Sunday.  It’s not because my “gay gene” finally has gotten the best of me this holiday season.  If that were so, I would have called it ‘Rose’ Sunday.  There is a very good reason for my calling it ‘Pink” Sunday.  The liturgical color assigned for the ‘Third Sunday in Advent’ is ‘Pink,’ or ‘Rose’ if you prefer and the theme is ‘Joy.’ 

This Sunday is also called “Gaudete” Sunday.  ‘Gaudete’ is a Latin word meaning “rejoice” or “joy.”  Despite the otherwise somber scripture readings for the season of Advent, the readings for this ‘Pink/Gaudete’ Sunday instead emphasizes the joyous anticipation of the Lord’s coming.  The week’s Epistle reading begins with I Thess. 5:16, “Be joyful always.” It is a reminder that in the midst a very difficult time in the history of God’s people, God brought “Joy to the World” in the birth of The Christ Child.  Perhaps ‘Pink’ Sunday will allow this season to become “A Season of Joy” for us in the midst of busyness, difficulties, and challenges we’ve faced this year.

As always, it’s not all about us.  I hope ‘Gaudete’ Sunday will remind us that “God is Still Speaking,” to us; calling us to help bring “Joy to the World” around us.  With that in mind, I want to take this opportunity to say thanks to many in our Covenant family for helping to bring “Joy to the World” in our community in two ways this Season.

First, thanks to everyone who has contributed food and money to our annual Holiday Food Drive for Greater Birmingham Ministries (GBM).  Your gifts will help us unite with other congregations to feed 300 families Christmas Dinner.  If you want to help, it’s not too late, you can still contribute through this week’s “Pink” Sunday.

Second, I want to say a thanks to those sponsoring a child through Birmingham AIDS Outreach’s (BAO) “Adrian Daniels Holiday Gift Box Project.”  Those you sponsor are children of parents with HIV or AIDS, struggling financially.  Your efforts will bring some “Joy to the World” for these kids.  Covenant’s response was so wonderful that we had to request 5 more children to ensure everyone who wanted to sponsor a child would be able to do so.  THANK YOU FOR SHARING “JOY TO THE WORLD!”

Finally, I invite you to join us in worship this week as we, in the midst of the busyness of the season, pause for “Pink” Sunday or is it “Gaudete” Sunday?  Oh well; join us for a time of “Joy” on “The Third Sunday of Advent.”  I will be preaching a sermon called “Joy to the World” based on Isaiah 61:1-4, 7-11 and John 1:1-4, 14.

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