Welcome back to the Colouring Party! I’m afraid to say that today kind of feels like the day after the party here at Chez Mitton. We set our clocks back to daylight savings time on the weekend, the kids were away on a youth retreat, we launched our first ever giveaway here on the blog, and we picked up the eldest son from his midnight flight after his trip to New Zealand. Time flies! Seems like just yesterday we were just saying goodbye… and here he is back again, with a bit more wisdom in his pocket and some jet lag in all of our bodies from the adrenaline rush of his return. Which brings me to this week’s colour: Blue. And I’m feelin’ it today!
Sometimes we say that don’t we? We’re “feeling blue”. Sad and a little depressed. That lack of sleep doesn’t help either. Although, like many of the colours we’ve been looking at, the meaning of blue is complex and varied. Often we use blue to describe the calm, peaceful feeling we get from the ocean waves or clear skies. Almost the opposite of “feeling blue”. Yet again, blue is said to be the colour of “the Divine”, of wisdom, the heavens, of peace. We have plenty of blue catch phrases as well. I found an interesting tidbit on the web’s Urban Dictionary: the idea of a “blue blood” was “…translated from the old Spanish phrase “sangre azul”,[where] blue blood derives from the Medieval belief in Europe (among other places) that the blood of the royalty and nobility was blue; since the royal family and aristocrats were wealthy and powerful enough to pay commoners to labour in the fields for them, [the royal] skin was translucent and pale enough for their blue veins to stand out….” (since they didn’t go out in the sunlight.) Almost the opposite of our definition of “blue collar workers” as requiring plenty of manual labour. Complex thoughts, indeed.
So, where does blue lie within the scriptures? Our blue, here, tends to follow the idea of nobility, grandeur and royalty. Although we do have some references to the calming blue waters next to green pastures in the Psalms, dark blue and deep purple are abundant in descriptions of precious stones and valued silks. Sapphires or “lapis lazuli” are referenced nine times in the Old Testament, including this verse from Exodus 24:
“9 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky.”
So much for walking the streets of gold in Heaven, I guess. Ezekiel 28 gives us another glance at the deep royalty of blue. Sapphires and other jewels adorn the great King of Tyre in this passage, representing his wisdom and prowess. Many say this is a description of Satan and his fall from Heaven. Once adorned and created as the “seal of perfection” with beauty and sophistication, this “guardian Cherub” became prideful and full of corruption and was eventually cast out by God. A good reminder to us to be wary of all that sparkles. Wealth may not be all “true blue”, shall we say?
Alas, most of us are not adorned with royal sapphires. Diamonds do not bedazzle our imperial necks, nor are we of noble “blue blood”. No worries, I found our blue, dear friends! In the common cuttlefish of the sea. “Techelet” is a Hebrew word referring to an ancient blue dye thought to have been extracted from this squid like creature. Although considered “special” and used sparingly to highlight, this dye was common enough for use in the average Hebrew garment. In the Torah, God commands Hebrew followers to attach “tzitzit” to the four corners of their garments to remind them of the Ten Commandments. (Numbers 15:38-39) This practice is also common among many orthodox Jews even today. One of those “tzitzit” (or fringes as you may have heard them called) should be, you guessed it: blue.
Besides the fact that I just love that new word (tzitzit — it’s fun to say and spell!) I discovered new insight into an old Bible story. Many gospels describe the story of a woman with a long standing blood issue. The story tells the tale of this “unclean” and shunned woman who reaches out in faith to touch the “hem” or “fringe” of Jesus’ garment in hopes that, by her fatih alone, she might be healed. Tradition has it that the “fringe” they speak of ? Yup, it is the common blue “tzitzit” of Jesus’s shawl. Cool, eh?
And so we come full circle again in our study. Are you feeling a little “blue” today? Is life catching up with you or has the vast expanse of blue skies ahead have you feeling overwhelmed at the unknown? Perhaps your thoughts of nobility, wealth and wisdom have been stripped away and your skin is a bit more translucent and exposed to the harsh reality of the outside world? Maybe you need a little dose of the calm blue of the “tzitzit”. The ancient reminder of Who is in charge. The healing touch of Christ’s “fringe benefits” in a crowded world of chaos. May you be Blessed with Blue !
Are you enjoying our party?! Don’t forget to enter our I Still Believe movie ticket giveaway: click here. It’s your little “loot bag” for coming to the colouring party! Our movie review is coming soon — so watch your inbox for it! Want to learn more about “tzitzit” (LOL, I just love to say it!). Check out my Pinterest boards for more on how to make your own. Maybe it would be a fun Sunday School craft or home school project? Chat soon, my friends!