Sunday 17 December 2023
3rd Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 61:1–2, 10–11. My soul rejoices in my God – Luke 1:46–50, 53–54. 1 Thessalonians 5:16–24. John 1:6–8, 19–28.
God has called you
With each passing year, I do what I can to keep the build-up to Christmas simple. I listen to both Handel’s Messiah and Paul Kelly’s How to Make Gravy. I watch one or two charming old movies. I try to think of simple but personal gifts rather than just getting vouchers. Last year, for example, I chose a separate poem for my closest friends and put a copy in a card with a few words about why I thought the poem might speak to them this Christmas. They loved them. There are plenty of wonderful poems in the world. Some of the best are in the book of Psalms. With a week until Christmas, you won’t find better advice than that of St Paul in today’s reading: ‘Be happy at all times; pray constantly; and for all things give thanks to God . . . God has called you and he will not fail you.’