Delivered at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Los Altos, California on Gaudete Sunday (Advent III), December 16, 2018.
St. John the Baptist found joy amidst suffering, we too too pause from our Advent penance to rejoice in a salvation that has drawn near.
- St. John the Baptist Proclaims the Coming Kingdom.
a. Yet is arrested, jailed, and sentenced to death.
b. Sends message to Jesus to ask for a glimmer of hope.
c. St. John asks his cousin, “Are you the one who is to come?”
- St. John the Baptist Receives Word Back
a. An Excitement to Christ’s words.
b. Christ is the fulfillment of Isaiah 61
c. Confirmation that Christ is the Messianic King!
- But St. John the Baptist would not enter the Kingdom
a. Just like Moses, St. John the Baptist only got to experience the joy of anticipation.
b. St. John the Baptist only caught a glimmer of the Kingdom.
c. Yet who is greater than St. John the Baptist?
- Difference between Christ’s First and Second Advent
a. Liberation from Pharaoh vs. liberation from Satan.
b. Darkness of Faith vs. the Beautific vision.
c. Valley of Tears vs. Unending Joy
- Christ did not banish suffering
a. Christ transformed the meaning of suffering, until his second coming.
b. “…we have not yet fully taken possession of our salvation.”
c. Hope guides us through suffering to our reward.
- Hope leads us to Joy, even in dire circumstances.
a. St. John the Baptist rejoiced even in chains.
b. Moses rejoiced at Mt. Nebo.
c. In the midst of this valley of tears, let us Rejoice in Hope (Romans 12:12).
- Joy and Rejoicing
a. Henri Nouwen: “Joy is not the same as happiness.”
b. “Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing — sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war or even death — can take that love away.”
c. Nouwen “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”