I attended parts of the Episcopalian prayer retreat held at our church last month. The good people of St. Luke’s church were there as part of their spiritual preparation for Easter. Their focus that day was on the Good Shepherd as found in Psalm 23, John 10 and other scriptures. During that time, Father Georges donned his vestments as they gathered around for communion. There was much time for reflection and prayer. A simple sandwich lunch was followed by a group discussion and more silent meditation.
Some remarked that they remembered a time when neither Baptist nor Episcopalian would have considered holding a prayer service in the other’s church. Our churches have partnered together for nearly 35 years with Meals on Wheels.
The window was why they asked to hold the retreat at the Baptist church. Our church sanctuary is a second home to me. I’ve seen the first light of day illumine the darkness as the sun rises behind the stained-glass Good Shepherd window. The setting sun casts its light through the angled southern windows painting the walls with reds, blues and yellows. Walking into our church sanctuary for the very first time usually elicits a “Wow.” The size and grandeur of the window is awe inspiring. I am told that our window is the largest religious work of art of its kind in Oklahoma. Centered above our choir loft, the window is 18 feet wide and 25 feet tall. The traditional picture of Jesus holding a shepherd’s staff and lamb, with a ram and ewe walking beside, is bordered with a Native American beadwork motif.
Sometimes I can get so used to seeing and handling the sacred things around me that I take these blessings for granted, or no longer notice them. Seeing the meaning that these neighbors found in the beauty of our sanctuary reminded me to open my eyes to see the sacred, and not just at church. It is springtime. Look at the sacred beauty of new life all around us. Open your eyes to the sacred moments. It’s awesome everywhere.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Discover the Wow. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.