Mothers’ Union Devotion Sunday 12th December the Third Sunday of Advent

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Philippians 4. 4

The third Sunday of Advent is a day of rejoicing. The mood lightens. The candle is pink rather than purple. There is an increasing sense of anticipation (or possibly panic depending on how organised you are). Just as the anticipation in pregnancy increases through the three trimesters.

The first trimester of pregnancy is a time of discovery, getting used to the news, telling others. Hoping that it really is true. Then in the second trimester when the baby becomes a reality you must start to get things ready. In the third trimester, you just have to wait for the baby to finish growing so it is ready to come and meet you. In this stage, there is a chance to reflect on the changes this precious gift will bring. Although, unlike at Christmas, you do not often know the exact date the baby will be born.

Just as the first Sunday of Advent reflects a time of realisation that Christmas is really coming and the time for procrastinating is over. Firm plans must now be made. Then the second week represents the time to prepare for all that will come later. In these weeks, we focus on the messages of the prophets telling us that change is coming.

Now, as we enter the third week of Advent we move from planning and preparing physically, to an increasing sense of preparing emotionally. Because at the heart of the nativity. At the heart of the incarnation. At the heart of all our Scripture is the Good News.

I suppose, we should ask what our response to this Good News will be during the remaining weeks of Advent. Maybe it is a time to ponder what Good News the newborn saviour could bring to us. What changes in our lives would mean Good News for us? What do we wish we could change about our instinctive behaviours? Are there things we need to let go of? Are there things we need to begin?

The remaining weeks of Advent are a perfect time to reflect on our desires and the call in our lives that our Saviour makes. Because if we want the legacy of this Christmas to be positive, we must build on this time of waiting.

So let us commit over the coming weeks to preparing for welcoming Jesus into our hearts in a deeper, longer-lasting, life-changing way.

With all my love and prayers this Advent time

Revd Sandra