Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Image of Christ

Today (28 May) we are dedicating a leadlight window (not the one shown) in Memory of Parishioner: Jeanette McHenry
I have been intrigued
over the years
by people’s comments about the windows in this church
Particularly when the first leadlight window
with a human face was installed
For the first time some people revealed to me
that they preferred other windows
even some said
“They didn’t like that one”
I think I have told the artist Sally Sandiford that and I am sure she will not be surprised.
A few years ago
A popular commercial reminded us
that saints were like stained glass
through which we look at the world.
It is quite a useful image.
Jeanette McHenry
Jeanette, whose memory we commemorate today
gave the world a degree of colour.
and character
I remember her as a wife and mother
as person with strong sense of community
she often told me about her childhood in Broken Hill
And she had a care for Peter and their children
which is a wonderful light through which she saw the world
She had a fine eye and liked flowers
she was careful with the things of God
as a sacristan at All Hallows’
and as a person always concerned about local community
and particularly children in our midst.
Plenty of colour and light
in Jeanette’s life
and we give thanks for that today.
The purpose of windows
All church decoration really
is there to remind us about God
As children we are often taught
that when our attention wanders away
from God (as it does so easily)
The windows, and the colours are there
to bring us back
Jeanette’s window will certainly do that
Whether we are looking at the glass
or at her life
The other windows too are good
and it is worth taking time
to look at them properly sometime.
But don’t you think
that there is more to it than that
People look at us
and see what we think is important
As I tell you some things about Jeanette ( and you will know a lot more)
We need to also be reminded
that you and I
are windows through which people see the world
We colour the meaning of the world
Will you do as well as Jeanette? Will the way you treat children and your family speak the truth of what we say we believe about love and forgiveness?

There is no doubt that our lives
will filter the way people see
the world
will the light which we shed on life
speak the truth
of what we say we believe
It is not always a perfect image
some people will even misunderstand us and dislike us
but that perhaps is not the point.
Will we be faithful to what God want us to be?
Will people look at us and see that we filtered life
in an authentic and godly way ?