Article: Stained Glass

Recently an antique “hunter” bought several items from a church that was closing in Philadelphia.

Paul Brown bought some doors, a few pews and two stained glass windows. All were antiques and appeared to have a good resale value.

The stained glass was more than stained from that old church. They were darkened by years of candle soot and grime. Most likely they hadn’t been cleaned in many, many years which caused them to be very dull and dark.

After the purchase, Brown hired stained glass experts to remove the windows from the church and bring them to his location.

Upon careful examination and research, Brown discovered that they were made by the Tiffany Glass Studios somewhere around 1904. Yes, that Tiffany.

All told, Brown paid $5000 for the doors, pews and stained glass. Now that the provenance of the windows has been established, these windows are now selling for $225,000. Wow!

We are a lot like that stained glass. Sometimes, the hardships and traumas of life cause us to grow dimmer and less reflective. At times we forget that we are treasured by God and precious to Christ. The darker the events of our life the more inward we become.

Never forget, we are of infinite value to God! If you don’t believe that, then let me ask you, why would Jesus die for us if we weren’t important to him?

Remember what God said to the people of Israel so many years ago. It applies to us as well as children of God.

For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession. Deuteronomy 14:2

It is easy to forget that when life is hard. More than that, the accumulation of disappointment grows. It doesn’t just go away, it is cumulative.

Just like a dirty, grimy stained-glass window we need to be cleaned occasionally. Not only does Jesus invite us to lay our burdens down and find rest in Him (Matthew 11:28-29) but when we return to our baptism, we are washed clean from sin and brokenness.

Martin Luther reminds us to return to our baptism daily (in asking for forgiveness) so that we remain spotless.

And like a stained-glass window that is clean, we will be able to reflect the light of the Son to the people around us.

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

God bless you,
Pr. Ben