Highland Avenue Community Church of the Nazarene in Rancho Cucamonga, California

Influenced By Joy



Pastor John Watkin

Sermon outline is available for download (Microsoft Word file) – Click Here


On Sunday we will light the Shepherd’s Candle of Joy. This is the pink or rose-colored candle in the wreath.

By tradition, the Third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday from the Latin word meaning “to rejoice.” It is meant to symbolize our joy and gladness in the promised Redemption we find in Jesus.

This week we will look at the question, How do you choose joy?  In a message entitled, “Influenced By Joy,” we will examine the response of the shepherds to the Angel’s announcement of Jesus’ birth.

“Joy” is a simple word, easy to spell, but it is often elusive to our lives. It’s common to write off joy as something that’s just not possible for our lives. But Paul encourages us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NLT) to

“Always be joyful.”

If joy is going to work, it has to work in an imperfect, often ugly world. That’s what the message of Christmas is all about. God came to this often-ugly world and, in Jesus Christ, He told us joy can even happen here.

Join us and discover how at Christmas, Jesus is the stable influence that brings joy to your life!

This year we are offering a free Advent devotional guide entitled, Advent: A Calendar of Devotions by Deborah Westbrook.

You are invited to pick up your copy in the church foyer or from the church office. The book features an inspirational devotion for each day in Advent. Extra copies are available for your friends as well!

Here are the daily scripture readings for the Third Week of Advent.

  • December 15: 1 Kings 19:1-8
  • December 16: Psalm 118:22-26a
  • December 17: Matthew 1:18-25
  • December 18: Luke 1:67-79
  • December 19: Luke 1:26-38
  • December 20: John 1:6-9
  • December 21: Romans 8:31-39

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