Saturday, October 1, 2011

We live in a world of light and shadow.

Light through a window invites pleasure.

Shade on the porch invites neighbors.

Some nights may seem endless.

But the dawn is always worth waiting for.

You are invited to a "Gathering" where people like you come together for a time of listening, sharing, reading, singing -- and a time to be still in the quiet, to gather thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, October 2
9:00 am

Not exactly dawn! But something new may dawn in you.

St. Paul's United Church of Christ

An Open and Affirming Congregation

2701 The American Road SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87124

Coming from the South on Coors Bypass, turn right just before SAMS Club, go to stop sign and turn left onto Cottonwood Rd. At the intersection with Alameda Blvd, continue straight to the first left (a short block). Turn left on American Rd and turn right at St. Paul's United Church of Christ driveway. (across from MB Transmissions)

Coming from the East or Coors Blvd, take Alameda Blvd west to the traffic light at Cottonwood Rd. (Charter Bank on NW corner). Turn right on Cottonwood for 1 short block to the first left turn. Turn left on American Rd and turn right at St. Paul's United Church of Christ driveway.

Two months ago I visited the Albuquerque Art and History Museum as their exhibit of Tiffany glass was coming to a close. It was an intriguing display of things that, in our everyday lives, we take for granted -- lamps. But these were more than lamps. These were sculptures that glowed. Yes, they were lamps alright. There was a base and bulb and a switch. Basic lamp stuff. Yet through a delicate and technical process the lamp shades were put together from precise cuts of colored glass to form patterns. Dragonflies, blossoms, all sorts of designs taken from nature. 

Some Tiffany windows were included. Windows meant to inspire and delight. Windows that look onto a world, not outside, but within ones own imagination. 

The production of these treasures passed through many hands. There was the drawing phase, then the selection of glass, the cutting, the fitting. And then came the hot lead that held one bit of glass to another. Bit by bit, the shape was created according to plan. 

Red next to blue, green next to purple. It may not seem like much in the beginning. But get dozens of glass bits together and it paints a picture that captivates. That scatters the darkness.

Much like the people of God. To fashion community, the Spirit may gather a diversity of people. Each with a unique history, each seeing the world and themselves through a particular lens, a view sometimes distorted by disappointment and grief. Broken people. Yet the Spirit takes our brokenness and smooths the rough places, fitting us one to another, adhering us in place with hot Spirit flame. We are shaped to be in community. 

We may not yet see the total design. The Spirit is an artist always at work. But what we can see is how remarkable we are, held together by God's love. When Holy Light shines through us, we scatter the darkness.

Sandie Chapin