Advent 3 is all sorts of busy. We light the pink candle, the rose candle, the Mary candle, the candle of joy, whatever your tradition calls it, the candle that doesn't match is lit today. The Collect weighs us down as it has us asking for help from God due to our being "sorely hindered by our sins." We hear of God's great plan for restoration in Isaiah 61. We have the option of hearing the Magnificat (I guess if its Mary Sunday for you it makes sense, but we're using it in Advent 4 with the annunciation). 1 Thessalonians reminds us to "rejoice always" which makes a whole lot of sense, seeing as it is a joyful Sunday in the midst of an otherwise (somewhat) penitential season. And J.Bap gets a second week to tell us that the Messiah is coming and he isn't worthy to even tie that other guys sandal. It is, to say the least, a very busy Sunday, and the preaching opportunities are bountiful.
I think I have to preach from either Isaiah or 1 Thessalonians. Keith did a great job of equating John's baptism with a lifestyle "immersed in forgiveness" and the nuanced conversation between JBap and those sent by the Pharisees could get really dull. No, I think that as we light the pink candle and despite the fact that we will beat ourselves up in the Collect, I will preach restoration and rejoicing. Now, what to say?