Advent Blue: Week 1-Longing for God

images-16Some worshiping communities are using blue as the color for Advent to distinguish it from the traditional purple. The Rev. Eric J. Liles of St Paul’s Episcopal Church says this:

Blue represents hope. expectation and heaven…a deep, dark blue is the color that covers us in the dark, cold hours before the dawn. Thus we use deep blue to shade the season of expectation of the dawn of Christ. (Church newsletter)

I enter Advent feeling, in the vernacular, blue about the state of our nation that is so torn, so sad, so angry. I have no new wisdom or insight to add, in fact, I wonder if silent prayer is my greatest contribution right now–bringing my grief, rage and desolation into the Presence of the Holy–for the principal participants in the case in Ferguson and other communities where slaying has happened, for those who are trying to bring peace and order, for those who are collaterally damaged by the ripples of destruction. So when I read the Hebrew Scripture’s opening text for the first day of Advent, I hear a voice that captures some of my own prayer:

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence…your holy cities have become a wilderness…Will you keep silent…? (from Isaiah 64)

In many ways Advent is that cosmic blue period in our life as a Church. We are invited to wait, to continue to wait, for the coming of the Holy One to bring Light to our darkness, Peace to our chaos, Rest to our weariness. And it is hard to wait, especially in the darkness of the world around us. And yet I still believe in the presence of that Holy One, in me by the Spirit, in the gathered people of God, and in the world at large. So my prayers will be shaped by those two realities this Advent–the dark wildernesses of the world and the faith that God is here already, even thought God’s intended rule is not fully present.

Each day of Advent I want to pray in the great blueness for the glory of God to become clearer and the healing of the world to become nearer:

Come, Holy Parent, who continues the process of shaping us like unique and beautiful and useful pieces of pottery with your powerful and gentle hands. Take the useless and flawed pieces of clay out of us, so that we may be free and equipped to be your agents of healing, restoration and grace in our relationships broken by prejudice, ignorance, narcissism and insensitivity. As we wait in the midnight blue of unknowing, open our hopeful eyes to the promise of your Presence, and help us to sense it where it is already here. Restore us, O God, let your face shine that we may be saved. (Ps. 80: 3).

 

 


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