Reflections: Saturday of the Second Week of Advent

Today’s Reading: Introit: Psalm 71:14–18; antiphon: Philippians 4:4

Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 26:20-27:13; 1 John 4:1-21

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.” (Introit for Advent 3)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Back in my seminary days, there was a sainted professor who, upon entering the classroom, would ask, “Are we rejoicing in the Lord, brothers?” We see in the antiphon words of St. Paul to the Philippians: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4) He then would tell us that if we were not rejoicing in the Lord, then we didn’t need to be there, for there is never a time where we should not be rejoicing in the Lord.

Because of God what God has done for us in Jesus, we should constantly be rejoicing. By His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus has won for us everlasting life. We should want to shout that from the rooftops, that Christ has forgiven me and given me eternal life, just as it says in the Introit: “My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge” (Psalm 71:15). This is something that Jesus has done, not only for me but all of creation. 

We should always be in a state of rejoicing for what God has done for us, but our sinfulness doesn’t always want to rejoice. I didn’t get the promotion I was seeking. I didn’t pass the chemistry test. My loved one just died; how could God do that to me? There are many things that happen in our lives that are not worth rejoicing about, but there are even more things that are worth rejoicing. Even if I didn’t get the promotion, I still have forgiveness by Jesus’ death on the cross. Even if I didn’t pass my chemistry test, I still have God’s name on me, marking me as His beloved child. Even though my loved one has died, they are now resting in the loving arms of their Savior, Jesus Christ.

There is much for us to rejoice in this life, but nothing more important than the life we have received in Christ Jesus, for Jesus is the cause of our rejoicing, both in this life and the life everlasting. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Rejoice, O pilgrim throng! Rejoice, give thanks, and sing; Your festal banner wave on high, The cross of Christ your king. Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice, give thanks, and sing! (Rejoice, O Pilgrim Throng, LSB 813:1)

– Pastor Jared Tucher serves the dual-parish of St. John – Farmer’s Retreat in Dillsboro and St. Paul, Cross Plains, Indiana.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.