Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18
In the old Red hymnal that preceded the old Green hymnal the Latin name of each Sunday was listed. This Sunday is Gaudete which is Latin for the first word of the second lesson, Rejoice. Long before any of the old hymnals Advent was even more like Lent with a full forty day fast beginning on November 12th. Gaudete Sunday anticipated the end of the fast and so a rose candle was lit to lighten the mood. Zephaniah anticipates a day beyond disaster when renewed by the love of God singing will replace sorrow. Rejoice! Isaiah anticipates a day beyond fear when God will be the strength and song of those who declare; surely it is God who saves me. Rejoice! In the peace that transcends understanding Paul encourages the Philippians to trust God in the midst of anxious times anticipating the Lord who is near. Rejoice! And while it might seem that the Gospel is out of sync with the theme – Rejoice! (You brood of vipers) confession anticipates absolution and fruit bearing repentance is always a cause for Gaudete!