If you’ve been in youth ministry for more than 4 ½ minutes you are well aware of the “no purple” rule – enacted to maintain, let’s just say, wholesome interaction between young men (blue) and young ladies (pink) during youth group activities, retreats, work camps, and trips. Creation of the color purple is strictly forbidden and a mainstay of every “Rules and Regulations” litany.
It’s a different kind of “no purple” however, that I’ve been reflecting on as the other day we celebrated the third Sunday of Advent, also known as Gaudete Sunday. Rejoice! In the midst of Advent, a liturgical season marked by the color purple to indicate a time of preparation and repentance, no purple is to be found! Instead, the white that will soon mark the joy of Christmas burns so brightly that the darkness is overshadowed by its radiance and the purple is transformed into a beautiful shade of rose. Our time of reflection, repentance and preparation is illuminated and transformed by the joy of Christmas and we rejoice for the Savior of the World will soon be here.
So how are we sharing that joy with our teens in the midst of the Advent season? Are we able to make the waiting and the longing relevant to their lives? Teen’s very lives are an Advent of sorts, a time they spend reflecting on and preparing for what they hope will be the joy of their lives to come – higher education, jobs, marriage, travel, and adventure.
Teens are waiting, waiting to discover what God has planned for them and just as small children can become impatient, overtired and cranky as they wait for Christmas to arrive, teens can suffer the same fate as they wait to arrive at their “real lives.” The purple of this season of their lives can overshadow the joy in Christ that is theirs right now as well as in the future.
My prayer for our teens this Advent would be that through you, through me and through all those who love them, they would find the light of joy and of hope burning brightly. Hope that the light of Christ would shatter the darkness of fear, discouragement, insecurity and pain, and joy in knowledge that while we wait for Our Savior, He is already here and has transformed our darkness into light.