Commemorate Third Advent with Isaiah

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The third Sunday of Advent for many Christian churches is known as Gaudete (/ɡˈdɛtɛ/ gow-DEH-teh) or Joy Sunday. One of the candles surrounding the white Christ Candle in the Advent wreath is rose colored and is lit on this third week in Advent.

In his 2014 homily, Pope Francis said that Gaudete Sunday is known as the “Sunday of joy,” and that instead of fretting about “all they still haven’t” done to prepare for Christmas, people should “think of all the good things life has given you.”[1]

For this Second Sunday Before Christmas or Third Advent Sunday we suggest reading Isaiah 12:2–6(Of course, as always, you can read this from the LDS King James version by clicking the link, reading below, or consider this lovey harmonized[2] poem compiled by Donald W. Parry in his book, Harmonizing Isaiah.)

Israel’s Songs of Salvation
Isaiah 12:1–6

And in that day you will say,

O LORD, I will give thanks to you.
Though you were angry with me,
your anger is turned away,
and you comfort me. (12:1)
Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and not be afraid;
for the LORD, the Lord is my strength and my song:
he has become my salvation. (12:2)
With joy, you will draw water out of the springs of salvation.(12:3)

And in that day will you say,
Give thanks to the LORD,
call upon His name,

declare his deeds among the people,
bring to remembrance that His name is exalted. (12:4)

Sing unto the LORD, for he has done glorious things—
this is known in all the earth. (12:5)

Cry out and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. (12:6)

According to the LDS Old Testament Institute Manual, this short chapter in Isaiah “is a hymn of praise for the great millennial era when the Lord will reign ‘in the midst’ of His people (Isaiah 12:6).” The manual suggests that as you read Isaiah 12:1–3, look for what those converted to Christ will do because they have been brought to His gospel. In Isaiah 12:4–6 we learn that those who are gathered into the gospel of Jesus Christ will praise the Savior during the Millennium.


Isaiah 12:2–6 King James Version

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid:
for the Lord aJEHOVAH is my bstrength and my song;
he also is become my csalvation.
Therefore with ajoy shall ye draw water
out of the wells of salvation.
And in that day shall ye say,
 Praise the Lordbcall upon his name,
  a declare his doings among the people,
 make mention that his name is exalted.
aSing unto the Lord;
for he hath done excellent things:
this is known in all the earth.
 Cry out and shout, thou ainhabitant of Zion:
for great is the Holy One of Israel in the bmidst of thee.

Last Christmas, in Tom Creddy’s Blog | An Amateur Theologian blundering around the Kingdom of God, Tom wrote  “here is a passage to inspire worship. We can see the roots of some of the great carols, and the great language and liturgy of the Church throughout the ages. There is a day coming when the vision of God’s people united in singing together will become reality. Often, I’ve found, friends who don’t know Jesus compliment the singing of carols or worship songs. They find it puts them in touch with something more, something else, something attractive. And that is a great way to start a conversation.

“Verse six is the key to this passage. A song that we can sing loudly, boldly, merrily on Christmas day. If you whisper, you can perhaps cheekily sing it now, before the Official end of advent:

Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One of Israel among you

“Someone is coming. Someone great, holy, joyful, who inspires singing among the people of God. There are hints of the greatest party the world has ever seen. You are invited.”


[1] “Pope celebrates Mass for Gaudete Sunday at Roman parish”, Vatican Radio, 14 December 2014
[2]
Harmonizing Isaiah: Combining Ancient Sources is a translation of four literary witnesses to the book of Isaiah:

  1. the Great Isaiah Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947
  2. the Masoretic Text (the traditional Hebrew text of the Old Testament
  3. the Isaiah passages in the Book of Mormon
  4. The Joseph Smith Translation of Isaiah

Further Study:

The LDS Old Testament Institute Manual, states verse 2 is “a literal translation of this verse” revealing “the sacred names and name-titles of Deity as they are used scripturally.

“‘Behold El is my salvation,
I shall trust and not be afraid;
For my strength and my song is Yah, Yehovah,
And he has become my salvation.’

“‘El’ is the singular of Elohim. It seldom occurs in the Bible in the singular. In the English Bible, both singular and plural are rendered by the word ‘God.’ ‘Yah’ is a contracted form of Jehovah or Yehovah, which in the Bible is usually rendered in English as ‘LORD.’ In the King James Version here, to avoid LORD LORD, they have rendered it as LORD JEHOVAH. This is one of the few times the name is written out fully as Jehovah in the King James translation. [See also: Exodus 6:3Ps. 83:18Isa. 26:4.] The short form Yah occurs in Hebrew also in Exodus 15:2and Psalms 118:14.” (Ellis T. Rasmussen, An Introduction to the Old Testament and Its Teachings, 2:46.)


Read other Advent posts here:

  • First Advent: Isaiah 63: 1–9
  • Second Advent: Isaiah 40:1–11
  • Third Advent: Isaiah 12:2–6.
  • Fourth Advent

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I am a retiree from Scouting. There I blogged for VoiceOfScouting.org, a site with more than 250,000 readers. During 42 years in the workplace, I've had many years senior level management with the BSA, professional associations, and high tech user groups. My background includes capital fundraising; outdoor adventure program development; property and construction management; event/conference planning; risk management and safety; lobbying federal, state and local government agencies; public relations; strategic planning; member advocacy and staff/volunteer training. Along the way, I have also taught Gospel Doctrine Classes and been both the ward and stake Sunday School President. In these settings, I have seen teachers and class members minimize Isaiah, a book Christ has commanded us to "search diligently." (3 Ne 23:1) With that in mind, I will do my best to explore and post my discoveries about the book of Isaiah. I am not a Bible scholar; like you, I read Isaiah in the Old Testament cycle of study in LDS Gospel Doctrine Classes and again in the Book of Mormon Cycle, so this is a whole new scripture adventure for me.

2 COMMENTS

  1. From that first Christmas in Germany, I loved having a wreath on my parent’s dining table with four candles, but it wasn’t until this year I learned that there are suggested reading in Christian Churches everywhere. These cycle every three years, so there will be different scriptures to read next year.

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