We have entered the Season of Advent in the Church year. November 23 was the last Sunday of the “old” church year and Advent begins a new “Church” year. In the sanctuary on November 30, the First Sunday of Advent, you noticed that the paraments (chancel cloths on the Lord’s Table, pulpit and lectern) have changed to the color blue. Purple is the traditional color of Advent. But many churches also use the color blue for the season of Advent, including the UMC of Chugiak.
One offers that “deep blue is the color of the clear, predawn sky, the color that covers the earth in the hours before the sun rises…Most of us are not looking at the sky at that hour-perhaps we’re still asleep, or too weary to notice it as we get in our car for our commute. Nonetheless, a deep, dark blue is the color that covers us in the dark, cold hours before the dawn. Thus we use deep blue for Advent to shade the season with a hint of expectation and anticipation of the dawn of Christ.”
I appreciated these words and thought that they were surely written by someone “Outside.” With our growing darkness and shorter hours of daylight, we have hours to enjoy, soak, and be blessed by the dark blue hours before the dawn. At the church it’s afternoon before the sun peaks above the mountain. I heard someone say in late November that it would be until the same date in January before the sun returned to her home.
We have many hours of predawn darkness in our mornings during this season of Advent. Let this dark remind us of the coming light, the light of all people, and the light of God coming to all the world. And coming for you. As we approach Christmas Day, which is only a few days after the winter solstice, know that the Light is coming. The darkness each morning this Advent can fill us with expectation and anticipation. Expectation and anticipation for the dawn. Expectation and anticipation for the dawn of Christ. Expectation and anticipation for the birth of God. Each morning darkness and dawn we can call forth, O come, O come, Emmanuel.
I look forward to worshiping with you each of these Sundays of Advent and Christmas. I am also looking forward to worshiping with you on Christmas Eve. You will find more information on our beautiful Christmas Eve services in this newsletter. You will also find a printable invitation to our Christmas Eve services on our website. Share the joy and anticipation and expectation of this season with a friend, neighbor, co-worker, or family member. Your invitation will bring joy and blessing to their Christmas this year.