One of the reasons I love succulent plants is that they are very still, sometimes they even look fake, as their growth is so very slow. They tolerate minimal amounts of water and a modest amount of sunlight, and yet they are growing every day. They embody for me the psalmists’ words, “Be still, and know that I am God.” I find great joy in the beauty of this spiky, slow growing companion who is able to be still always. It reminds me that my faith journey, my growth in Christ can be slow, and may not always be obvious to me or to others, but God knows growth is happening nonetheless. There is joy and faith in the stillness. Other plants are more obvious…beautiful flowers in riotous colors and prolific blooms are also an experience of joy. In Lent, this quiet expression of slow growth, clean, sharp, geometric beauty, fills my soul with joy and hope. But, as a human creature, designed to love beauty, to seek joy in all things, I long for the colorful expressions too.
This Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent, is traditionally known as Laertare Sunday or Rose Sunday. The Latin word “Laetare” means “Rejoice!” We are called to remember JOY in the midst of the Lenten season of repentance, as we pass the halfway mark toward Easter. The Church, in its wisdom, gives us color “cues” for every season. We are living in the purple of Lent until Holy Week; but just for this Sunday, our purple penitence is lightened to rosy pink. It is not by accident that pink is in the same color family as purple. Rose Sunday reminds us that the Joy we anticipate on Easter morning follows the darkness of Jesus’ death. New life springs forth from the tomb for all of us on Easter. This Sunday is a reminder, in vivid color, that this is true: new life comes from death and despair. That is the promise of the Resurrection. This Sunday, the Celebrant will wear rose colored vestments as a reminder of Joy. We can be still, we can be growing slowly in Christ, and we can enjoy the beauty of hope, of joy, in our liturgy and in God’s promise to us of everlasting life. Join us this Sunday for worship and wear pink! We are God’s joyful people.
Your sister in Christ,
March 8, 2018 reflection