Reflection: Back in May of 2019, my daughter Dana and I took a girls only trip to Spain. Any trip to Europe means visiting lots of churches. I love church architecture – I find churches beautiful. When Dana was in elementary school she did a project on cathedrals – guess who suggested that idea to her? Standing outside looking up at a cathedral, the sculpture is amazing: Biblical scenes in such detail, pictures of what an artist believes heaven and hell look like, always accompanied by either happy faces or miserable faces. When I step into a cathedral, I always feel God’s presence – the greatness of God. Gorgeous arches and domed windows direct your eyes up to God. Stain glass windows bring stories alive with color and light.
Towards the end of our trip, we visited Granada. After spending the morning at the Alhambra, we had an afternoon free to explore the city. We decided to walk to the Monastery of Carthusian, a hidden gem across town from our hotel. It was a very hot day and a long walk. I can’t say I was as tired as Mary was when she arrived at Bethlehem, and had to wait for a place to lie down. But I can say that at first there was “no room” at the Monastery – there was a wedding in process and we were not allowed inside. So, we waited in the hot sun for longer than we wanted to.
Once inside, we were overcome with the beauty of the Monastery. The courtyard was full of flowers and the rooms facing the courtyard where the monks used to live were filled with paintings. One painting caught my eye – a picture of Joseph and Mary holding the baby Jesus in the manger with shepherds looking on. It seemed Mary’s face was aglow as she looked at her new baby’s shinning face.
Our passage from the Old Testament Psalms asks for God to let his face shine on us so that we may be saved. God, in his infinite wisdom, did just that by sending his only son Jesus. May we be captured in the beauty of the season as one is captured in the beauty of cathedrals. May our faces shine, reflecting Jesus as Mary’s did in the manger. Who will see God through your shining face today?
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus and shining your face upon us. Nudge us today to see that person who needs to see your shining face filled with love today. May we boldly proclaim your love through righteous actions each and every day. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Barb Droz, Clerk of Session