Have you ever wondered what the colors at the front of the church mean? What do they symbolize? Why do they change on certain Sundays? Today's post is all about colors - purple, white, green, and red. These are the primary colors of the liturgical church year and each one symbolizes something about our faith and our spiritual walk.
One of my favorite things about living in the Northeast is the change in seasons.
I love the white winter landscapes and the first shades of green in spring; the lush, green gardens and the fiery reds and golds of fall. Everything feels new, yet familiar at the same time.
There’s a certain rhythm to the change in seasons. Every few months, we yearn for change—a fresh start, something to wake up within us and come to life again.
But change is bittersweet. Because while we embrace the new season (scarves! apple cider! leaves!), we must leave behind the old. It's part of moving forward, moving on. It's part of growing, maturing, and learning. It's part of life
A few weeks ago, the youth led worship. They planned skits and a children's message, wrote prayers, made T-shirts, wrote testimonials, and chose music. They poured their hearts into this service. And it showed.
The overall theme was packing for a long journey - carrying extra baggage through life and trying to do it all on their own until Jesus revealed himself to them and offered to carry their burdens. But instead of playing fictional characters, the youth assumed their own identities - they were themselves and the baggage they carried were real things they struggle with in their own lives.
One high schooler shared her struggle with depression and anxiety.
Another about grief and loss.
One talked about turning her back on God, the way He sought her, and the joy she's found in returning to Him.
A 6th grader spoke about taking a stand and choosing to believe in God even when her friends and teachers try to tell her He doesn't exist.
Sometimes, I need a little perspective. Because when I'm immersed in the details of planning, creating, teaching, and making music, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. And sometimes, it takes getting to 30,000 feet above the earth to get the perspective I crave.
. . . . .
A few weeks ago, SD and I flew south to sunny FL. He had a composition residency (rehearsals, presentation, and two premieres), I had a visit with church music friends (choir rehearsal, duet practice, and three services).
We packed our bathing suits, new books, and clothes we haven't worn since last summer, and left our new home nestled in two feet of fluffy white snow.
The airport was quiet as we navigated to our gate, sandwiches from Au Bon Pain in hand. We nestled into our seats and I looked out the window (because SD always lets me have the window seat) at the grey morning sky.
Ecclesiastes 3 has been on my heart and mind lately. "To everything there is a season; a time for every purpose under heaven..." Maybe it's the hint of fall in the air (after all, the Pumpkin Spice Latte did come out this week) or the promise of structure that the school year provides. Whatever the reason, I've been thinking back on the "seasons" I've had so far this year:
In February, I entered into a season of grieving after losing my Grammy very suddenly. Everything changed, and yet, I stocked up on colorful Clare cardigans at J.Crew Factory because I craved more change - I didn't know how to keep living with the way things were.
Then, in May, I wrote this post about the season of waiting. I still craved change - We almost bought a house, y'all. And got a new job. But, those things I thought we were waiting for (in reality, hoping for) did not happen. In the restless moments of this busy summer, waiting for tangible, visible change, I thought about contentment. This moment, our lives as they are right now - am I content?