On Gaudete Sunday, across the country and around the world, Christians will light a rose-colored candle as a symbol of joy. No doubt, this will be a challenging task for many pastors and communities.
Tornadoes, floods, droughts. School shootings, broken families, polarized politics. Increased loneliness, mental illness, drug use, and suicide. How do we speak of joy in the midst of such conflict and grief? Dare we light a rose-colored candle?
Sorrow and sin filled the land when the prophet Zephaniah promised a “mighty savior,” who would “remove judgment” and “renew you in his love.” Six hundred years before Christ,
Zephaniah encouraged the people to “Sing joyfully, O Israel!”
Joy depends not on circumstances, but on a Savior. Christian joy stems from faith in Jesus, who through His death and resurrection—through His unfailing love—brings us new life. Joy springs from a well even deeper than the pit of grief.
Rose-colored candles will be lit this Sunday all over the world. With the coming of Jesus, Christians believe light overcomes darkness, peace overcomes violence, good overcomes evil, love overcomes hate, and life overcomes death. We trust that God’s loving presence continues to dwell with us—in our midst. We believe Jesus weeps for those who suffer.
No, all is not yet right with the world, but the light does shine in the darkness as we love one another. We live in joyful anticipation of the second coming of Christ when there will be no more tears, no more sorrow, no more grief, and no more death. For now, we bow low and pray as we light a rose-colored candle and sing, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”
Naming Grace in the Domestic Church reflects on Scripture through the lens of a parent/grandparent.
Mary Pedersen, D.Min.
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.