Preached on the Third Sunday of Advent at Holy Cross Lutheran Church on December 16, 2012 by Pastor Todd Peperkorn
Sermon Text: Philippians 4:4-7 and Luke 7:18-28, Sermon Theme: “Looking”
The Coming of Jesus Enables Us to Rejoice
The Third Sunday in Advent has traditionally been called by the Latin word, Gaudete, meaning “Rejoice!” For as you are called to repentance, so also are you urged to rejoice in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. By His own Cross, He has accomplished salvation for you; “He has cleared away your enemies,” “taken away the judgments against you,” and has come to reign in your midst. Indeed, He rejoices over you with gladness and song! (Zeph. 3:15¬–17). Therefore, even from prison St. Paul encourages us to “rejoice in the Lord always,” knowing that the peace of God will guard and keep us in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:4, 7). We find an example and encouragement in the case of John the Baptist. As he languishes in prison, he calls upon Jesus and is strengthened by the Word of the Gospel that he receives. The same good news is preached to you, by which all things are made new and even “the dead are raised up” (Luke 7:22). Do not be offended by the cross, therefore, but let your life be one of prayer and thanksgiving (Luke 7:23; Phil. 4:6).