Humble Joy – Br. Jack Crowley 

Br. Jack Crowley headshot

Br. Jack Crowley

John 1:6-8, 19-28 

Good morning and welcome to the third Sunday of Advent. We are just about one week away from the big day. Next Sunday, Advent four and Christmas eve will collide, and liturgical heads will spin.   

Every year during this final stretch of Advent, I always love to imagine how Mary must have felt as the birth of her baby boy drew near. I’m sure Mary was filled with all sorts of emotions. I mean imagine for nine months carrying the son of God in your belly and feeling baby Jesus kick inside of you. Imagine for nine months going to bed every night knowing the savior of mankind was growing inside you.  

Above all else, I imagine Mary feeling a sort of humble joy. Joy. Not just happiness, not just gratitude, not just relief, but joy. Joy and all the good that comes with it.  

Traditionally on this third Sunday of Advent, we celebrate joy. You may have already noticed that our Advent wreath magically grew some roses last night at first evensong. Those roses are our reminder, in the midst of Advent, in the midst of a busy holiday season, to stop and appreciate the simple beauty of creation, to pause and give thanks and feel the simple joys of the season.   Read More

Rejoice! – Br. Jim Woodrum

Br. Jim Woodrum

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Luke 1:46-55; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28

If you have been worshipping with us with any regularity this Advent you will notice a slight variation this morning in our liturgical colors.  The traditional Sarum blue is normally flanked by earthy green and highlights of crimson, all colors that represent the mystery of the Incarnation; that is, God becoming flesh and blood, putting on our human vesture in the womb of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  Just as future parents prepare themselves for the birth of a child, so this season of Advent is a time for prayer, recollection, and getting our lives in order in preparation for the birth of Jesus at Christmas.  But today, the Sarum blue is complimented by swatches of velvety rose to signify the third Sunday of Advent which is known as ‘Gaudete’ Sunday.  Gaudete, the Latin word for “Rejoice,” is the first word we hear in both the Introit[i] to today’s Mass from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians:  “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice,” as well as the Epistle from his letter to the Thessalonians:  “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.”  Gaudete Sunday is a day of rejoicing! Read More

Waiting in Advent – Br. Curtis Almquist

Br. Curtis AlmquistJohn 1:6-8, 19-28

The name for this season in the Church year, “Advent,” derives from the Latin, adventus, which means “a coming, an approach, an arrival”: the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah, the Christ, whom we as Christians know as Jesus.  Meanwhile, we wait.  If we were to open the Gospel accounts according to Matthew and Luke, we discover a great many people waiting for the Messiah, the Christ.  Mary and Joseph are waiting.  Zechariah and Elizabeth, Symeon and Anna, are waiting.  Shepherds who are waiting. There are some sages from the east – wisemen – who are waiting.  The only persons who are not waiting are in Bethlehem, the keepers of an inn.  And there’s no room in the inn.  They’re all full up.  It’s almost impossible to wait if you are full up, because waiting takes space; to be able to wait requires an openness or emptiness.  And that’s a particular challenge and problem, especially here in our own culture. Read More