Oh purple - my favorite color since I can remember having a favorite color. The lovely amethyst is my birth stone and anyone who knows me, knows I love the jewel and the color. I have purple scarves, purple clothes, purple tennis shoes, purple bible cover, purple ipad cover, a purple craft room and the list goes on. I frequently point out that purple is "the color of royalty." In the ancient world, purple was a symbol of wealth and royalty due to the lengthy process of obtaining purple dye from a certain mollusk. It was rare and therefore expensive to dye garments with this rich purple color, so often times only the rich or royal sported purple garments. In Jesus' time, Roman soldiers mocked him by placing the crown of thorns on his head and a purple robe on his shoulders. They spit and laughed and called him names, but despite the mockery they created and participated in, there was, in actuality, no king greater than Jesus. They mocked him with that purple cloak, but we praise the King of Kings that Jesus is. During this Lenten season, our pastor wears a purple stole - a penitential color - which reminds us of Jesus' suffering and death. But it is also a color of faith and hope. It reminds us that our Jesus is a triumphant King who died for us and conquered death to remove our sins and reconcile us with the Father.