This past year, semi-retirement teamed up with quarantining to give me a lot of free time. Much of that time has been spent in Bible classes and Bible reading. I have had the opportunity to join in classes which studied the minor prophets, the books of Matthew, 1 Peter, 2 Corinthians, and John. I am even trying to read a chronological printing of the Bible. I am getting a lot from these studies, but to be perfectly honest, after a while I tend to become a bit weary. A few weeks ago, I was worshipping at the 8:15am service when my mind began to wander. I found myself gazing at the art-glass windows and became enthralled once again with their beauty and the emotion they exude.
The spoken and written Word is so important to the forming of our faith. I realized though, that a talented artist of stained and art glass windows can pull on our emotions and touch a deep understanding of faith, with no words at all. Like a good preacher, an artist can touch both the heart and the mind. I can look at the two-story art glass window behind our altar and can picture the individual missions and ministries which, when combined together, describe the works of the Church. The dependency of each function and gift upon the other, is beautifully displayed.
The creator of the stained-glass windows, which line the side of the Nave, depicted some of the major ministries of Christ. He takes us from Jesus’ birth all the way through the Resurrection. On the journey you can see joy, suffering, and anguish which finally culminates in the victory of the empty tomb. The depictions continue with remembrances of the parables, the children, and Jesus calling us to action. The windows in the sanctuary bring a sense of awe which is difficult for a speaker to reproduce.
I am not suggesting we should let our minds wander when listening to a sermon or reading the Bible. The spoken Word and written Word are irreplaceable. The personal human interaction between a Pastor and God’s children is called for by God. As our window behind the altar shows, God’s family, the church, works best when all facets of our lives work in concert. Yet, often a visual image can stir the heart in ways the most gifted speaker cannot.
When you have the opportunity, I encourage you to look at the windows and think about their meaning. Let your mind wander and your heart be stirred. If you are not able to attend at the Mission campus and would like pictures of the windows, let me know and I will see what I can do.
Until next time, blessings.
Senior Ministry Leader