Advent is the four weeks preceding Christmas and is a time of waiting and preparation for the arrival of the Christ Child. More and more church traditions are celebrating this special time of year. The next few weeks I have been posting information and reflections about the colors and meaning of Advent and will finish this series on Thursday.
Many churches light an Advert wreath during this time of expectation before Christmas. In my church we light the next candle during the children’s sermon, telling the story of each week.
The circle of the wreath reminds us of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy, which has no beginning or end. The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life. Candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son.
In the center of the wreath shines the white Christ candle. Usually this candle is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with all five candles continuing to be lighted in services through Epiphany (Jan 6). The central location of the Christ Candle reminds us that the birth of Jesus is the heart of the season, giving light to the world.
White symbolizes purity, holiness, truth, and virtue, as well as respect and reverence. White symbolizes the newborn Jesus and represents His light to shine in our lives.
White is also the color of mourning in China and parts of Africa. The ancient Greeks wore white to bed to ensure pleasant dreams.
Think about the color white in your life: I wear a white lab coat as a nurse when I volunteer at the free medical clinic. I watched my daughter walk down the aisle on her wedding day in her white gown. A white picket fence often symbolizes a safe and happy home. We dream of a white Christmas.
“White…is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black…God paints in many colours; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white.” — G. K. Chesterton
When I began this series (see the last four Tuesday’s posts of the Colors of Advent) I never imagined how learning more about the colors of the season would add a new dimension to my Advent journey. The colors seem to pop out for me more and help me pause and consider the meaning of this season. It is like the scene in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens the door after the tornado and the dreary grays burst into colors.
Then I saw this verse from The Message:
“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world…” – Matthew 5:14 (MSG)
God-colors – what a wonderful word. What a gift God gave us when He swirled His brushes into the rainbow and gave us colors.
Thank you Lord for colors
Thank you Lord for eyes to see Your creation.
Thank you Lord for the gift of this season.
Thank you Lord for Jesus.
How do the colors of Advent touch you?