Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On Ground Hog’s Day, he saw his shadow which means that there were six weeks to spring. That would put us right in the middle of March, just before the first day of spring! Praise God!
I am looking forward to experiencing spring in Allegan. I am thinking about the wonderful colors that will come springing forth. After a bleak, cold winter it will be a refreshing change to see the community come alive in so many important ways!
During Lent, this year, we are looking at the colors of Easter. We began the season on Ash Wednesday, thinking about the color of black. Black represents the darkness of our lives that comes when we sin against God. We are called to repent those sins and begin to rebuild our relationship with God.
The next color we talked about was green. It reminds me of creation, the grass, the leaves and plant life. It is a sign of new life that awaits us whether it be the life that comes out of a dark time of our lives or the new life we will experience at the end of this life.
The next color is that of orange. I have seen one or two orange suns in the sky recently. It is a promise for a good day that lies ahead of us. I look at the setting sun and it gives me hope that I can finally shed my winter coat and hat. And when that new day dawns, the sun rises like a yellow ball in the sky, reminding me of Jesus Christ who is the light of the world. I look forward to those long days of summer when the sun will shine down upon us well past 9 pm.
White is another color of Easter. It represents purity and the goodness of God. The Scriptures promise us that our sins will be washed clean like the whitest of snow. It reminds me of the steadfast love of God that never gives up on us and showers us with God’s grace even though we do not deserve it.
My favorite color throughout the year is purple. It is a royal color and in ancient days it was a most expensive cloth. It is, also, a color of sorrow. As I write this, I am preparing for the Service for Witness of the Resurrection for one of our own, Gary Klinkers who entered the Church Triumphant on February 20th. Letting go is not easy. This time will not be easy for Nancy, her friends and family, yet I know that Jesus will be with her throughout this time. In the same way, Jesus will be with us as we shed the past to make room for the new thing that that awaits us as a faith community.
On Palm Sunday, the color of the day will be pink. It minds us that of the new thing that is coming, like a new born infant. It reminds me of youth, those early days when we are just figuring out who we are, who will we become and what wonders we will experience. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, he was looking forward to his death. The people though cheered their savior, their hero who will finally rescue them from their enemies. Jesus would rescue them and he does us but not in the way they expected.
Lastly, is the color of red, representing the blood of Jesus that would be shed on the cross on Good Friday. A onetime event that would wash clean our sins, once and for all, through the shedding of Jesus’ blood so that we could live anew.
And then comes Easter, where all the colors come together in our Easter basket in the form of candy, gifts and brightly colored Easter eggs. It will be then that we cast aside all that has come before us and open our hearts and minds to the opportunity to begin a new journey into our future.
I hope you will take this journey with me with all the wonders that await us!
I thank God for you,
Pastor Kathy Nealand