On the third Sunday in Advent we light the 3rd candle – the “pink” candle. Why is it pink? The keyword for Advent III is “Joy”. A tone of light-heartedness in the darkening nights. Pink sets it apart. I love the joy of Advent – especially Advent III. Might say we will be ‘in the pink’ this Sunday. But did you know that the phrase “in the pink” has nothing to do with color?
“In the pink” is an English idiom that means to be at the peak of health, to be in optimum, functioning condition. The expression to be at the peak of health goes back to the 1500s, because at that time, the word pink referred to a certain type of flower called dianthus; referred to as pinks in the English vernacular. The flowers, were considered the pinnacle of floral design, so the word pink came to mean anything at the pinnacle of excellence.
Pink is actually derived from the Danish term pinck oogen, which translates “half-closed eyes” or “small eyes”, a clear reference to the appearance of the dianthus flower. Surprisingly, the word pink – meaning a color – did not come into use until the end of the 1700s, and not in general use until the 1800s. (btw – ‘dianthus’ is in the same family of flowers as the carnation. “Pink carnation and a pick-up truck”!)
“In the pink” = Optimal functioning. Excellence. Epitome of life, health & wholeness.
“Joy” = an essential ingredient for health, for optimal functioning. The candle of joy – the pink candle – reminds us to live optimally, excellently, “at the peak of health”.
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
to bring good news to the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
We will hear these words from the prophet Isaiah this coming Sunday.
As the calendar year nears its end, I encourage you to help keep our congregation “in the pink” as well: to be at the peak of health, to function optimally. A piece of that is financial stewardship. To function well and to do God’s Work in the world, I encourage you to be strong and healthy in your gifts and giving. Let your “whole being exult in God” – Isaiah’s words again. A portion of, a part of the “whole”, is money & finance.
Finally, I again, appeal to you to stay healthy; stay safe. “Safe practices’ are ‘practiced’ less and less. I SEE that. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Limit your exposure to others. Do it for yourself. Do it especially for your nation and the greater good. No sense contributing to the spread of COVID; contribute rather to the ‘needs of the saints’ and your congregation of Grace…to help keep it in the pink!!!
Bless you! Pastor John Hillmer 12/11/2020
Grace Lutheran Church at Carrollwood
“Grace is a place of Faith, Hope and Healing for ALL”