Because of expected ice storm on Sunday January 9, only 8:30 worship will take place onsite.

September 7, 2023

A Pastoral Word. . . Made to Shine

Pastor Kevin Freeman

September 7, 2023
In Philadelphia there lies an impressive-looking building that once housed St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. Built in 1901, this structure has fallen into disrepair like so many old church buildings. Thankfully, new life exists within, as another congregation – Emmanuel Christian Center – bought the building and set about renovating it. Part of the renovation process involved the removal of two large, grime-covered circular windows that were high up on the wall.

The windows were in such bad condition the church initially planned to demolish them. Instead, they offered a salvager the opportunity to buy the windows and remove them. They sold them for $6,000 apiece to Paul Brown, who removed the windows and sent them to an auction house. Upon appraisal, Brown learned these were original rose windows made in 1904 by the famous Tiffany Studios company. After being cleaned up, the windows fetched $100,000 apiece!
Do you know the original purpose of rose windows? These Gothic features developed around the 12th century allowed more light into the building and represented the light of God illuminating His creation. The image of divinity was often circular – think of the round halos depicted behind Christ’s head – so churchgoers could look up and be reminded of God’s glory or down to see the beautiful colors arrayed by the light passing through beautiful stained glass. The intricate geometrical patterns reflected the order of the universe and of a life submissive to the Lord’s precepts.

We are like rose windows, but we often feel like those filthy ones found in Philadelphia. The dirt and grime of life – past mistakes, failures, and the trials of age – become caked to us, obscuring our beauty and value. We forget that God has made us in His image, that through faith in Christ we have been not only forgiven of our sin but enabled to live holy lives. God has made us to be gorgeous and priceless windows that display the light of God’s glory and goodness for all the world to see!

Peter the apostle made enough mistakes that he likely felt he had ruined any opportunity to be useful again, but consider what he later wrote:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” - 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

And later:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” - 2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV

God made you to display the light of Christ to the world, and He has equipped you with everything you need to do so. If there is a sin struggle in your life, you are able with God’s power to remove that grime and better demonstrate the order of God’s love. Walk confidently then, knowing that God is at work shining through you!

Your partner in ministry,
Kevin Freeman
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