The Color of Christmas
12/25/2017 § Leave a comment
I have something to share with you that I have never shared to anyone except my wife. It’s very personal.
Are you ready? Here it is…
I associate the days of the week with colors. Yep, that’s it. Each day of the week for me represents a unique color.
Some of you may be asking “what in the world are you talking about” or “have you been eating well lately,” and I assure you that I have been eating just fine, and maybe too well.
There is actually a name for this phenomenon. The clinical term for this is referred to as synesthesia. By definition, synesthesia is a stimulation of a sensory or cognitive area of the brain that involuntary leads to another sensory or cognitive path. In its simplest form, synesthetes, depending upon how they are wired, associate colors to different stimuli. Some people can actually associate the different sounds of music with colors. Some will visually associate letters and numbers with individual, unique colors.
The association of colors with days of the week seems to be more common among synesthetes, and it all has to do with one’s personal perception. This trait seems to be associated with creative people or artists, and it can be hereditary, but there is not a lot of science or psychology on this, and its probably because some people may not even realize that they have this ability. I wasn’t able to put a name to it until a few months ago.
Anyway, for me, here are the colors that I see (as close as I can get according to my perception) for the days of the week. Sunday is close to a white color with a warm, soft cream-like tone. Monday is a basic blue. Tuesday is a light gray. Wednesday is a solid brown. Thursday is orange, or close to what I would call a burnt orange. Friday is a solid red. Saturday is a bright yellow. As I thought of this subject, I also realize that I associated colors with subjects in high school, which have nothing to do with the day of the week color scheme. Chemistry and biology, for example, was a solid green. English was a light blue color, and algebra and calculus were a bright red. I have no explanation for these, but I can share that English and math were my best subjects in high school.
Many of us probably associate colors with different times of the year and we don’t even realize it. The four seasons have relatively distinct colors for those of us who live around here. Spring has a multitude of colors, but many will think of pink and yellow for flowers and cherry blossoms (April showers bring May flowers). Summer is green and more green. If you have allergies, you know about pollen, which is yellow. Autumn means changing leaf colors and pumpkins, which are orange. Winter is white, and sometimes can take on a rather dreary color of a slushy gray. With that in mind, how wonderful it is to see Christmas lights this time of year! We haven’t always had Christmas lights (before electricity we had candles, of course), but even a solid string of white lights in the evening seem to brighten up the surroundings. Some lights that we see will cover all of the colors of the spectrum, and you can now even see colors dancing in the form of stars or angels projected onto houses with newfangled yard gadgets that run throughout the Christmas season.
Now, I like those kind of colors at Christmas. We will kindly excuse the people who buy the gargantuan displays of Santa or Rudolph or Star Wars characters that are blown up with an air compressor only to collapse in a heap of wrinkled ruin on the lawn. I can barely see the beauty of color when I look at those bodacious displays.
Color means a great deal to us. There’s nothing more boring to look at than a blank canvas or pale white walls. It’s amazing how something as simple as color stripes or accents on walls can change one’s entire perspective. Christmas has a color scheme of its own that helps us to get into the spirit of the season after the browns, tans and oranges of Thanksgiving take a back seat for another year. The reds and greens of Christmas are accented with the light blue colors of sparkle and the snow-white lights that reflect off of the snow on the roofs of houses. All of these colors are quite prevalent throughout the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and yet they still fall short of the true meaning of Christmas. The true color of Christmas is not in a shade or a hue, because that would be a limitation of its meaning and purpose. The purpose of Christmas, in Himself, does not wear a red suit, sport a long white beard, or even go “ho, ho, ho!” The true color of Christmas is in the person of Jesus Christ.
He is the true color of Christmas.
Luke 2:8-14 CSB
In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people he favors!
So when you look at all of the different colors of lights that you see when you drive through your neighborhoods, you can readily conclude that all of the lights of color that you see actually do provide a great reminder of who Jesus Christ is. He was born as a Savior, Christ the Lord, and He came to us for the purpose of showing us what it is to be a light in the world.
John 8:12 ESV
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Since He is our light, He gives us the example as to how to live as His disciples:
Matthew 5:14-16 ESV
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Jesus wants us to share His light with others. How are we to do this? With love. With kindness. With compassion. With a presence…words are not always necessary. With service. With prayer for others. We are to be lights in a world of darkness and suspicion. It’s no wonder that charities ramp up their efforts around Christmas to raise money. It is a giving season, and what better way to express the love of Christ than to unselfishly give to those who are in need?
Colors are what add to the ambiance of Christmas, but all of the colors we see should point each of us directly to Jesus Christ. So before we pan the secularism of the season and bemoan all of the light displays, let’s reflect on how the bright, colorful lights invigorate our spirits and lift us beyond the doldrums of the cold and the snow. And if lights can brighten the night, what does Jesus Christ do for us?
How much more does Jesus Christ, with His very presence, lift us up when we are down?
How great it is that He who knows how we feel before we can express it?
How wonderful it is that Jesus shines His light of favor, mercy and loving care upon us!
With His light, I can readily declare that at one time I was blind in my sin, but now I can see!
He wants us to see Him in the light of His glory and grace. Amen. His true color is the color of light, which happens to be all of the colors that we see combined into one bright, beaming presence. And His light has no end to it.
Remember Christ’s words to His followers: “You are the light of the world.” He came to us in love and for the purpose of our salvation. He wants us to see His true colors. Not just at Christmas time, but all year round. The color of Christmas is not limited to just one shade, hue or texture, and in the same way, let’s not limit our view of who Jesus Christ is for us.
Jesus wants you to see His true color shine.
“We are to walk in the light, beautiful light, come where His love and His mercy are bright. Shine all around us by day and by night…Jesus, the light of the world!”*
*Lyrics from Jesus, the Light of the World. Words by Ken Bible and George D. Elderkin. Music by George D. Elderkin; arr. by Ken Bible © 1998, 2000, 2009 by LNWhymns.com. CCLI Song #3084764.
Copyright © Melvin Gaines