August 2015

Dear Friends in Christ,

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened…” Isaiah 35:5

The promises spoken by the prophet Isaiah are repeated in Luke’s Gospel. (Check it out where Jesus is sending a message to John.) Only in Luke’s Gospel it is not about what will be, but about what already is in Jesus. Wondrous things happen in the presence of Jesus. People are hearing where before there was no sound. People are running where before they were unable to move their legs. People are seeing where before there was only darkness. Only here is how it is — at least for me. Sometimes I don’t know I haven’t been able to see until I can see again. And then it can be like seeing for the first time. This is what I have experienced in these last couple of weeks as I have watched our window covering renovation project unfold. Oh, I had a sense it needed to be done. I was surely told by others this would be a good thing to do. I had no idea what this would mean, though, until I saw it for myself. And to tell you the truth, these days I’m ‘taking the long way around’ the building, just to have the excuse to pause and marvel at it again. And that is just looking at those sparkling windows from the outside. I really can’t get over the difference it makes from the inside either! For light is breaking through in a way it has not in a very long time. And so we can see in a way we had perhaps forgotten was even possible. At least here in this place. If you haven’t had the chance to see it for yourself, make it a point to come to worship one Sunday soon. I expect you will be amazed! And yet, the ‘seeing’ we hear about from Jesus really isn’t only about physical sight. It is also about insight and understanding. It is about the sort of understanding which has us standing still in awe when we recognize God’s majesty. The sort of insight which brings home the truth of God’s great love not only for me and those like

Only here is how it is — at least for me. Sometimes I don’t know I haven’t been able to see until I can see again. And then it can be like seeing for the first time. This is what I have experienced in these last couple of weeks as I have watched our window covering renovation project unfold. Oh, I had a sense it needed to be done. I was surely told by others this would be a good thing to do. I had no idea what this would mean, though, until I saw it for myself. And to tell you the truth, these days I’m ‘taking the long way around’ the building, just to have the excuse to pause and marvel at it again. And that is just looking at those sparkling windows from the outside. I really can’t get over the difference it makes from the inside either! For light is breaking through in a way it has not in a very long time. And so we can see in a way we had perhaps forgotten was even possible. At least here in this place. If you haven’t had the chance to see it for yourself, make it a point to come to worship one Sunday soon. I expect you will be amazed! And yet, the ‘seeing’ we hear about from Jesus really isn’t only about physical sight. It is also about insight and understanding. It is about the sort of understanding which has us standing still in awe when we recognize God’s majesty. The sort of insight which brings home the truth of God’s great love not only for me and those like

This is what I have experienced in these last couple of weeks as I have watched our window covering renovation project unfold. Oh, I had a sense it needed to be done. I was surely told by others this would be a good thing to do. I had no idea what this would mean, though, until I saw it for myself. And to tell you the truth, these days I’m ‘taking the long way around’ the building, just to have the excuse to pause and marvel at it again. And that is just looking at those sparkling windows from the outside. I really can’t get over the difference it makes from the inside either! For light is breaking through in a way it has not in a very long time. And so we can see in a way we had perhaps forgotten was even possible. At least here in this place. If you haven’t had the chance to see it for yourself, make it a point to come to worship one Sunday soon. I expect you will be amazed! And yet, the ‘seeing’ we hear about from Jesus really isn’t only about physical sight. It is also about insight and understanding. It is about the sort of understanding which has us standing still in awe when we recognize God’s majesty. The sort of insight which brings home the truth of God’s great love not only for me and those like

And yet, the ‘seeing’ we hear about from Jesus really isn’t only about physical sight. It is also about insight and understanding. It is about the sort of understanding which has us standing still in awe when we recognize God’s majesty. The sort of insight which brings home the truth of God’s great love not only for me and those like me, but for all people. The kind of deepened perception which holds close the truth that I am, we are, forgiven even though we can’t possibly deserve it. One can surely see with one’s eyes, yes. But how much more important it is to be able to see with one’s heart. New window coverings on our beautiful church building don’t do this on their own, of course. While my eyes may well be opened, without the work of the Spirit, my heart may well remain just as closed. And yet, there is something wonderful about walking into

New window coverings on our beautiful church building don’t do this on their own, of course. While my eyes may well be opened, without the work of the Spirit, my heart may well remain just as closed. And yet, there is something wonderful about walking into a space which is loved and cared for inside and out which is also a reflection of our love for God because of God’s love for us. There is something about being able to see one another more clearly — reflected through colors which are now more brilliant, which enables us to see God at work in ways perhaps we have not in some time. Only there is this. As I understand it? In ancient times, stained glass windows were not really meant for the enjoyment of those who are inside. They were first meant to stand as

Only there is this. As I understand it? In ancient times, stained glass windows were not really meant for the enjoyment of those who are inside. They were first meant to stand as invitation to those who are still on the outside. Even as these bright and shining windows welcome us into our beautiful space, they are meant to welcome others for whom this may be the first time they find their way to worship.

And so maybe my seeing really isn’t about the windows themselves. And maybe it isn’t about me or for me at all. Perhaps my opened eyes and opened heart are truly for those we have yet to meet who will pass through these doors and into this space and catch sight of Jesus and his great love for them — perhaps even for the first time. Indeed, maybe for them it will be like seeing for the very first time. Even as it once was for you and for me.

Oh yes, may all those whose eyes catch the color and majesty of these windows see beyond them to Jesus. And may you and I be reflections of that love as well — that all who are welcomed here might see this love through us.

Thank you to all of you who have contributed to this exciting project. To date we have received: $2,210 towards a $10,000 match. If you would like to offer a gift, it’s not too late. You might give a gift in memory of someone you have loved. Or you might give a gift in hope for those who have not yet seen God’s love for them up close. Or maybe both. Either way, come and experience the wonder of “seeing” again. Most of all, may your eyes be opened so as to “see” once more God’s great love for you.