When I go to various churches on Sundays during the season of Advent I always ask the pastors, “Do you wear purple or blue stoles?”
In recent years we have seen the color blue more and more, in addition to the traditional purple. According to www.umc.org “The Christian year has two cycles: the Christmas Cycle (Advent-Christmas-Epiphany) and the Easter Cycle (Lent-Easter-Pentecost).
“Within each cycle are a preparatory season symbolized by the color purple and a festival season symbolized by the color white. After each cycle there is an ordinary time of growth symbolized by the color green.
It goes on to say that the color purple represents both royalty and penitence, while blue symbolizes hope. Purple and blue are both acceptable colors to use during Advent.
(“Why are there different colored altar cloths?”)
Upon further examination, I found that the shade of blue for Advent is often a deep, dark blue. It is like the color of the predawn sky just before the sun rises. It brings with it the meaning of expectation and anticipation of the coming of the Messiah.
Other sources remind us that the color blue is associated with the Virgin Mary. She is depicted in the color blue in many of the icons and religious art images of the past. (www.stpaulsivy.org “Why Blue for Advent”)
The season of Advent is all of this and much more. We prepare for Christmas with times of self-reflection and repentance; but we anticipate the celebration with much preparation ,like we do when a special visitor comes to our home.
We revere the newborn Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our humble Savior came to serve and give his life for our sins so that we might know the promise of life everlasting in heaven. With the dawn of his coming, all of creation will be filled with his glory.
May you have a purple-blue Advent and teach well the meaning of the season to those who may only be with you at your churches during this time of the year. The most important color to wear is love, which is the fulfillment of Christ’s mission for the world and “which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14)