Atom Site Feed

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Pink Candle

It’s my last writing day before school closes for break, so I’m trying to tie up the Christmas packages and the loose ends. We’re on the third candle of the advent wreath, the pink one, which means Christmas is around the bend. My husband Tom says the pink is for joy, though I heard a different interpretation in a message in Quaker meeting this Sunday.

According to the message (if I remember correctly), the first candle is for hope, and that candle is watched over by an angel. The second is for love, and that one is watched over by Mary. And the third candle is for trust, and that candle is watched over by Joseph. The speaker never got to the fourth candle because the focus of her message was Joseph and how he trusted God (and Mary) even though marrying a pregnant woman went against everything in his culture. The speaker described explaining to her son how hard it must have been for Joseph to trust in that situation and how her five-year-old son had responded, “Oh it’s the opposite of that other guy.” He then recounted how an angel told Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth was having a baby, and because Zechariah didn’t believe the angel, he lost his ability to speak until after the baby was born. He only regained his voice after naming the baby John, as the angel had instructed. The speaker in meeting concluded the message with the possibility that when we don’t trust God, we lose our ability to speak.

Sitting with this idea this morning, I think muteness might be a harsh metaphor, but one that does have some truth. At the very least, I think trusting God frees us to be who we’re meant to be more fully, thus making us more potent, if not more effective. If part of our work is to speak truth to power (as Quakers put it) trusting God is perhaps a prerequisite. Or to put in another way, fear and doubt can muffle our voices. Unfortunately, we can’t make ourselves let go and feel trust. Mary asked her angel a question before her famous submission, though asking a question was exactly what got Zechariah zapped into silence. As someone who has a lot of questions, this seems a bit unfair.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this except to uplift the notion of trust, especially when it’s not the culturally expected thing to do. On another note, a parent at our children’s school just published this piece on the multicultural holiday issue. I enjoyed his perspective and so pass it along.

Wishing you all the gift of peace.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Who Links Here