Our Church Board has approved the refurbishment of 13 Stained Glass Windows in our sanctuary. Today, I got word that the company doing the work will come to remove the first of those windows – the large window featuring the story of Mary and Martha from Luke 10. It’s pretty exciting to get this work underway after so many months of discernment.
As I sat thinking about the removal, refurbishment, and reinstallation of this first window, I realized that for several weeks there will be plywood in the space of that large window behind the choir loft. So, I went into the sanctuary to mull over what we might do with the bare plywood during the weeks the window is gone.
I sat staring at the window for awhile. It is such a beautiful work of art from a time when Christians really valued the ability of art to inspire us and teach the stories of our faith. Contemporary church buildings are so often bare metal boxes devoid of art and the stories of faith which they communicate.
And as I gazed closer at the window in a prayerful sort of way seeking to hear the details of the Mary and Martha story that the image sought to teach me, I began to see the image in a new way. I looked closer and closer at it and discovered details that I had previously missed. I literally got up in the window sill staring at different details of the painting within the glass.
Our windows are not just geometric configurations of glass. Each colored glass piece is hand painted to create an incredibly detailed picture. Simply sitting in a pew on a Sunday morning does not give one the full appreciation of the details painted within the glass of the windows. But when you get up close to the window, you begin to see it in a completely new and beautifully detailed way. The shading in each piece of glass is so intricate. Even fingernails, strands of hair, eyebrows, and lips are carefully shaded onto the glass. The image is so elaborate up close it begins to come to life!
You know, life is sometimes like these windows. From an everyday distance, things may look nice. You may appreciate what goes on – the people around us, the things you have, the many experiences you encounter. But you miss the details of life. And when you stop and take a close up look at your life, you’ll find that there are amazing and intricate details that cause you to see your life in a whole new way. When you slow down and pay attention to those details, you might just discover a new appreciation for the people and places and situations within your life…
- A deeper meaning in the kind words offered by a friend
- The peace and serenity that is present within each sunrise and sunset
- The heartfelt friendship that is present in a phone call or text that checks in on you
- The compassionate love shared through a simple good morning kiss or goodbye hug
- A new lesson to be learned through a mistake or failure
And if you look close enough, you may just discover the immense beauty that the hand of God is painting into your life, for God is painting details within you that tell a story of love and grace.
Acts 4:5-12–“Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.” (v.8-10, NRSV)
Psalm 23–“He leads me in the right paths for his name’s sake.” (v.3, KJV)
1 John 3:16-24–“My little children, let us not love in word or neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (v.18, NRSV)
John 10:11-18– “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.” (v.14, NRSV)
This Week at Hood
Wednesday, April 18th, 6:00 pm – Choir
Wednesday, April 18th, 6:00 pm – “Young-ish” Small group
Thursday, April 19th, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Pastor Jason at The Cellar for Drop-In Coffee & Conversation (108 N Wilson St)
Friday, April 20th-Saturday, April 21st – NC Disciples of Christ Regional Assembly, Greenville, NC
Sunday, April 22nd, 11:00 am – Worship; 12 noon–Fellowship Lunch (Fajita/Taco Bar)
Saturday, April 28th, 10 am-12 noon – Community Garden Workday
Wednesday, May 16th, 7:00 pm – Board Meeting
Sunday, May 20th, 11:00 am – Installation Service for Revs. Jason & Joanie Williams