“Going green” is one of the catch phrases of the new decade. It’s concerned with the environment, and it’s a good thing. For me, in a different meaning, “going green” is still a good thing, but it refers to the paraments in the sanctuary. One of my blessings is to change the paraments throughout the year. For those of you who are new to our church, paraments are the colored cloths that are seen in three places at the front of our sanctuary. They are not there for decoration. They are spiritual reminders. We follow a church calendar whereby we cycle twice from purple/blue to white to green. Purple/blue is the time of preparation. White is the time of celebration. Green is the time of growth.
The spiritual reminder is that when we enter to worship, we should prepare our hearts to receive God. Then we celebrate with psalms and songs as we indeed to receive God into our hearts and minds. As we go from the service, we take what we’ve received and celebrated, and we grow by meditating on these truths and putting into practice what we’ve learned by witnessing and serving God in the world. Purple/white/green are visual reminders of the weekly corporate encounter with God. But they are also our pattern for walking daily with our Lord. We prepare daily by studying the Word and praying. We celebrate the goodness of the Lord by singing and thanking God for His many blessings. We grow in our knowledge of and love for Him by putting living lives pleasing to Him, lives that imitate Christ.
In following the pattern of preparing (Lent), celebrating (Easter/Pentecost), growing (in the ordinary days), preparing (Advent), celebrating (Christmas), growing (ordinary days), we not only live a year with the Lord, but we are reminded that our God is faithful and dependable. We serve the Rock who doesn’t change like shifting shadows. We can put our full trust in the Only One who is in full control. God is an ever-present God, an eternal, loving Father to us His children.
Green is MY favorite time. That might sound strange, as celebrating is FUN! I do love FUN, and I maybe it’s my age, but I feel so blessed in “the ordinary,” a routine of spending time with God each morning, time with Langston, time at my church doing whatever God has me doing. These are ordinary days that I count as extraordinary. I’m at peace and full of joy. I’m seeking to help others. I’m appreciating being able to move and breathe and take in God’s world with all my senses. The January spiritual guide is a cycle of Scriptural references to prepare, to celebrate, and to grow in our knowledge and love of God and people. GO GREEN! GO also WHITE and PURPLE/BLUE!
Bobbie Denny, spiritual lay leader