Sunday, November 28, 2010

the color purple

I'm a sucker for the liturgical year, and Advent is one of my favorites. It's a bit ironic that, growing up in a family whose faith tradition was distinctly not liturgical, we honored Advent. We had a wreath and candle on the dining room table that was lit with ritual. We had a large calendar that Mom made that hung on the back of the front door. At times we had individual advent calendars, and though they were pretty and glittery and held their own mystery, the one that I shared with my brothers was preferred. The house was also decorated according to a theme of the season and the season to come. The twelve days of Christmas featured partridges in pear trees, or any of the other assembly; the magi took their places on top of the piano, on the mantel, or elsewhere in the house; heralding angels carried their harps or trumpets; doves of peace from Christmas card fronts formed a line down the wall... We made our way through Advent with anticipation, permeated by the signs and symbols of what was to come.

As a priest I bear the responsibility of holding the Advent reins, and offering up the power that the season holds for us. I come to it anew this year, traveling with a congregation that seeks to do much while lacking the resources to do what it desires. On parallel tracks, we look to use what we have, trusting that God will bless the effort and multiply that blessing in the lives of others. I recognize, too, that when God is setting out to do a new thing we dig in our heels and resist the breath of the Spirit that carries change.  That Spirit-wind comes anyway, and rattles the foundations where we have planted our feet so firmly. Our world shakes and things fall down around us, leaving us disoriented and discomfited. That describes my world these days. I am guilty of railing against it rather than shifting my rhythm and being in the tumbled mess that surrounds me.

In fact, it's not a mess at all. What surrounds me has comforted me against the pinions of hardship and the disappointments of my own limitations. Having recognized that, I can now lift my eyes to the metaphoric cracks in my walls and the leak over my head. I can respond to God's invitation to be part of the repair and renewal, and in putting my world back together we can choose new patterns, new colors, and new rhythms to suit the world in which I now live. Doing so helps me breathe.

I like purple. Some shade of it seems to suit just now.


Jayne said...

Lovely post. I, too, really want to be quiet and mindful this Advent season. Love your purple blog theme too! Hugs!

texsis said...

Thank you. You will never know how much I needed to hear this right now.

Abundant blessings!

The Bug said...

I love purple too - it's always my favorite color when asked.

I just commented on Kim's blog that I need to pull out my Barbara Crafton Advent devotional - perhaps it will help me get in touch with the season.


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