The Weekly Perspective

by Joe Thacker, Pastor

For the Third Sunday in Advent, we find John the Baptist in prison (Matt. 11:2-15), but the question he poses regarding the ministry of Jesus leads to the declaration of the great works that Christ is doing. These works are foretold by the prophet Isaiah (35:1-10), particularly the giving of sight to the blind (v. 35; Matt. 11:5), a miracle unique to the Messiah. The turning back of the effects of sin and the curse of sin are evidenced in the miracles that Jesus performs and are reason for true joy. The Third Sunday of Advent is sometimes called “Gaudete Sunday,” for the Latin word Gaudete, meaning “Rejoice!” The work of God is reason for rejoicing. Repentance is reason for rejoicing. The Savior has come, bringing freedom and peace. And while we wait upon the Lord, we do so with patience, looking to the example of the prophets who suffered though they spoke in the name of the Lord (James 5:10-11). John the Baptist, the last of the OT prophets, suffered for the message of repentance that he preached. The church today, as it carries the prophetic mantel can also suffer for calling sinners to repentance. Nevertheless, the church is called to remain steadfast, for therein lies the way of blessing from our compassionate and merciful Lord. So let us continue to pursue repentance in our own lives, proclaim it to others, and rejoice in the continuing works of God by His Spirit and through the church.