There is something wrong with this picture? Do you know what it is?
Give up? If you noticed that the three purple candles have been lit and the pink candle is yet to be lit then you are correct. Many people think you light all the purple candles first, then the pink candle, and finally the white Christ candle. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t notice it. Most people would not have seen this small but meaningful detail.
This Sunday we light the third candle (the pink candle) of Advent which represents our coming joy. As we begin the third week of Advent we anticipate Christmas and so we ask Christ to grant us his grace that we might be prepared for welcoming his birth.
This marks the turning point in the period of preparation and we see that visually in the Advent wreath. This is the Sunday where we light more candles than we leave unlit for the first time in Advent —thus providing more light, symbolizing the light of Christ coming into the world. This pink (or rose) candle, breaks up the array of purple candles for a very specific reason.
The purple candles are symbols of hope, peace and love with a penitent tone. However, this week we pause and light the pink candle as a reminder of the coming of joy into the world. This Sunday we rejoice that unto us a child is born and for unto us a king is coming.
So as we light the pink candle this Sunday, or as you light the pink candle at home, be reminded that joy comes in the form of our savior born on Christmas day. I think we can all be intentional this coming week to look for joy that only Christ can bring. Who needs a touch of that joy? Where can you be an instrument of joy to the world in need of a Savior this Christmas?