by Christine Sine
Yesterday I lit the joy candle on my Advent wreath. This is the only pink candle, surrounded by three purple candles in my wreath. It glows with light and life even when the other candles seem a little dim. And behind it stands my jade plant, just beginning to flower with pink tinted blossoms also a symbol of joy.
I have really been craving light this Advent season and have thoroughly enjoyed my morning practice of lighting each of the candles in my circle of light this week. They connect me in a special way to my family, friends and neighbours near and far as well as to special places and God’s beautiful light filled created world. They fill me with joy yet there is still something lacking. What is this joy I am celebrating as I enter this third week of Advent I find myself asking?
Let the Colours of Joy Flame.
As I sit in my circle of light I am reminded that white light is not really white at all, it is made up of all the colours of the rainbow. And it reminds me that in Jesus too are all the colours of the rainbow. That it why over the last couple of days I have found myself hunting for images of Christ and Christmas music from different cultures. I have looked at Ethiopian icons, and black madonnas, He Qi‘s Chinese images and Hanna Varghese’s Malaysian images. I have reflected on beautiful scenes from the Cameroons. I have browsed Paul Neeley’s site Global Christian Worship for Christmas music and images from around the world. This has connected me in an even deeper way to the coming of Christ and the richness of God’s children “from every tribe and nation”.
Now I sit and meditate on John O’Donohue’s words in his book The Invisible Embrace of Beauty
the very breath of life breathes into things until their individual colours flame. Such is the generosity of air, self-effacing and unseen it asks nothing of the eye, yet it offers life to the invisible fields where light can unfold its scriptures of colour. We dwell between the air and the earth, guests of that middle kingdom where light and colour embrace (84)
As I ponder the different images of Christ’s birth I have looked at this week I sit in awe of the rainbow hues that make up the light of Christ. I do feel I live in that place between the air and the earth, guests of that middle kingdom where light and colour embrace. I realize I will never appreciate the light of Christ until I fully embrace the colours of God’s rainbow of joy that are all the tribes and nations and cultures of our earth.
What Is Your Response.
Watch the video below (my apologies for the age and poor quality) or visit Matt Stone’s website and browse his collection of Asian and African Christian art. What impresses you about the Jesus you see depicted in these images? What do these images teach you about the coming of Christ into our world?