Rejoice! Gaudete! In the third week of Advent our purple and blue give way to joyful rose–rose vestments, a rose candle in the Advent wreath; the voice of Mary rejoicing; “My soul magnifies the Lord, my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
As the winter days in New England grow ever darker and shorter, we Christians–Advent people–proclaim our joy, our hope for a new day, the birth of the Christ Child into the world. We tell this broken world that Jesus brings Light and Love in ways we cannot begin to imagine: unexpected warmth in a winter heart, beauty and new life in dry places, a counter-cultural truth about God’s Kingdom ruling over all.
The prophet Isaiah describes this in-breaking of God as the desert blooming:
“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,” (Isaiah 35: 1)
Madeleine L’Engle writes of Advent:
This is the irrational season
when love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
there’d have been no room for the child. (Madeleine L’Engle, “After Annunciation”)
So we rejoice that in the darkness, love blooms bright and wild; the desert blossoms; Christ is born into the world and we live in God’s loving embrace in all seasons.