The third candle that is lit during the season of Advent is always pink. The other candles are either purple or blue, but the third candle is pink. The third Sunday is also often Mary’s Sunday or the Sunday we focus on Mary’s great song of praise “The Magnificat” from the first chapter of Luke.
The candle is not pink because Mary is a girl or as we might think because the focus is love. The candle is pink for joy. In the old days, Advent was like lent and a time of penitence and reflection and fasting. The third Sunday was a break from all the somberness of the season was named “Gaudete” Sunday (which is latin for Rejoice)
Joy is a funny thing. Joy is not happiness and yet one can be happy and filled with joy. Joy is something deeper. Happiness can fleeting, here for a moment and just as quickly gone. One can have have and still grieve, or be sad, or uncertain or even have a bit of fear.
I believe Joy is having faith that God is with us no matter what. There are many things in the world that can cause uncertainty, sadness and even fear. Joy is the response of faith, that we are not alone and that no matter what God will be with us. I believe that is why Mary could proclaim “My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for God has done marvelous things!”
In worship Sunday, we celebrate this kind of joy. The third Sunday of Advent at First United Methodist church was all about joy! May this week you find the joy of this holy season.