When God offered a rainbow as a sign of the promise of everlasting love it was also a statement that colors matter. Colors matter not just because they celebrate the gift of diversity, but they also capture the different themes and emotions that reflect the collage of life.
This Sunday in worship our colors change. The paraments (small banners that hang on the pulpit and lectern) and the preacher’s stole will be white, as we celebrate Christ our King Sunday. In our tradition white symbolizes light, purity, joy, triumph, and glory. So the accoutrements in worship on Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Trinity Sunday, All Saints Day, and at funerals, baptisms, and weddings are white.
Since Pentecost we’ve been in green season, called “ordinary” time. Added to the season between Epiphany and Lent, green is the dominant color each year. Green is all about growth, hope, and renewal in life; the vitality that God would have us experience in our faith.
In two weeks everything will go purple for Advent, and, as with our time in Lent, purple is about penitence and repentance, but also about royalty.
Then there’s poor old red, the color for passion. Only once each year, on Pentecost, does everything turn red as we receive the power of the dove and flaming tongues.
In this transitional season, my (green) hope and (red) prayer is that we would know the (purple) presence of our Christ and receive the (white) promise of God’s grace. May God bless us to receive and rejoice in the glorious collage of colors that together paint our life’s picture.