by Cherrie Barton Henry, Associate Pastor of Congregational Care & Mission

Did you notice that Malia lit a pink candle on Sunday?

That’s because this Sunday is known as Laetare (pronounced lay-tar-aa) Sunday. Laetare means “rejoice,” and this is the week of Lent when we are reminded of the joy of being a Christian. And, if you are thinking that this is a sister Sunday to the third Sunday of Advent when we light the pink joy candle, then you are on the right track!  This is the week to rest and enjoy God’s goodness. It’s a week when we all are invited to ease off on our more harsh Lenten practices in order to remind ourselves where our desire to shoulder the hard work of discipleship comes in the first place:  as a response to Jesus love for us; a love we do not earn but receive in joy.

Do you ever wonder why God wants us to rejoice and praise and love God? Well, it’s not because God has a big head or is needy of our feeble adoration. The answer is that we as humans are so naturally inclined to become like that which we admire and look up to. You’ve noticed this, right? Lent is all about letting our heads and hearts fall in love with what is truly good. We praise and admire God because God as we have come to know God in Jesus Christ and with the help of the Holy Spirit as the only one truly worthy and up to the task of receiving our admiration, praise, and love; and allowing that love to shape our souls for our own and the world’s good.  In other words, when we fall in love with Jesus, we quite naturally desire to be like him. That’s good for us. That’s good for all creation.

Enjoy this Laetare week of Lent. But the dark and heavy purple aside for a just bit to embrace the bright rosy color of pink! Find ways to rejoice and celebrate, by remembering how much Jesus loves you and how much you love Jesus! Everything is easier to bear in the light of such love.