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Pink Candles

            Who came up with the idea to add pink to Advent purple that already clashes with Christmas red and green?  You can search for yourself on the internet and realize that there are many views on the origins, but it is somehow related to the Catholic church and a Pope receiving a pink rose from a parishioner that gave him great joy—the focus of the third Sunday in Advent.  Whatever the reason, I prefer it when Advent Candles come with a pink one.  This year I had to search high and low for a pink tapered candle, and the one I ended up with is much shorter and wider than my slender purple ones. 

            I do like what the pink candle represents to me though.  It is the joy of this season.  As I told you not all churches treat Advent as they do Lent and focus on repentance.  Even if you are fasting and repenting in preparation for Christmas Day, you get to open your heart to joy on the third week of Advent as you light a pink candle. 

            Joy comes to all who open their hearts to hope and love.  A sign that you are focused on the presence of God in your life is that your soul will be full of joy in spite of your circumstances.  Joy is much loftier than happiness.  The Bible defines it as the state of awareness of God’s goodness in spite of whatever situation you may find yourself.    Psalm 16:11 says it best, You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.  When we light the pink candle, we acknowledge that we are half way to the great celebration of Christmas.  As our season of waiting nears the end it stirs a surge of joy in our souls. 

            If you are searching high and low for joy and find it hard to experience, become aware of God’s presence.  That is where you will find joy.  He is there all the time whether you are aware of Him or not.  Feel God’s presence as you touch the soft fur of your cat and consider how God made the creatures of the earth to teach us about love and commitment.  Enjoy God’s presence as you take in the unique taste of coffee on a cold December morning warming you from the inside out and delighting your taste buds.  Consider it all joy when you face any hardship knowing that God is right there with you, and He will never abandon you no matter how bad things get. 

            The third week of Advent is a perfect time to practice the presence of God by going on a scavenger hunt for joy.  Try to find joy while you stand the long line at the grocery store.  Use the time to consider God’s presence; see how He might lead you to discover joy by talking to a fellow customer or simply praying for the strangers you wait beside.  Maybe you will cheer on a young mother by taking a turn talking to her five-year-old for a moment of respite.  Perhaps you will be the only person the elderly woman will encounter in a personal conversation that day. 

            If you are missing joy this Advent season, you don’t have to look far to find it.  Just become aware of God’s presence and you will be led to joy.

            At the end of the third week of Advent consider how much joy has entered your life.  Maybe I will even find joy as I light my pink candle.  Rather than complaining that it is different and wondering why the set did not come with a pink one, I can delight in its uniqueness and be grateful that God can show me how to have joy about anything no matter how insignificant it may seem.  Joy is there for the experiencing.

Copyright © 2012.  Deborah R. Newman  All Rights Reserved.


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