O come, O come, Emmanuel,and ransom captive Israel,that mourns in lonely exile hereuntil the Son of God appear.R: Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel,shall come to thee o Israel !
To the ancient Jews that exile was the Babylonian exile, though for anyone today exile is many things; from financial abandonment, to the exile of an outcast of society, to the battlefield solder and returning veteran, or a person struggling with illness and handicap, or those struggling through relationships, homelessness, drug addiction. The list is great. These or any of the many life struggles, often lead to isolation; and a persons outlook indeed turns to Joy when those people know that someone cares. Perhaps one of the lessons of Christmas is to give someone abandoned in life a reason to rejoice? There is rejoicing in knowing that you are not abandoned, Christmas is that Joy in knowing that God does not abandon us. If God does not abandon us, should we abandon others? In this season of merchants gifts, here is one of Gods gifts to us, specifically Gods concern for us, and perhaps that gift should be passed on to others? Might a command of this third Sunday be to seek out one of the lost sheep of our society? Emmanuel after all means God is with us. God does not abandon us. Rejoice, and give another a reason to do the same.