Have you taken a moment to reflect on the stained glass window behind the Risen Christ on the cross in the big church lately? I am sure that you are aware the window represents the creation story in chapter one of Genesis. Our ancestors in faith believed that God created everything in existence and told that story with vivid descriptions. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and separated the light from the darkness, separated the earth from the sky, and brought forth vegetation of every kind of seed bearing plant. God separated day and night with the sun and the moon. On the fifth day created all living creatures and on the sixth day God created man, male and female in the divine image God created them. After instructing humanity to be stewards of the earth, stewards of all God’s gifts, God blessed the seventh day, rested and made it holy.
We can’t easily picture how God rested or how God simply existed in being, but the author of Genesis tells us that God blessed the day and made it holy. Looking at the window there are panels of glass in shades of green, reds, blues, a little gray, and translucent white, with brown hues and shapes. It is an abstract linking of colors, but intertwined within the combination of colors one gets the sense of vegetation, water, sky, earth and light, colors of autumn and fire of summer. There is a symbolic linkage with our sacraments from the waters of Baptism to the fire of the Spirit, the existence of life in green hues and the varied colors of life itself.
The image of those windows coincided with an opportunity for me to take a walk on a beach south of Santa Cruz, walking along the sandy shore on the magnificent Pacific Ocean reflecting on the beauty and wonder of God’s creation, realizing how small we are in the expanse of our solar system. But there is a moment every day that brings pause, brings me to a momentary reflection, watching the sun set, and then disappearing beyond the horizon. What did early humanity think when they observed that phenomenon? The great orb of energy that makes plants grow, provides light for all to see, provides warmth from the cold and then disappears until our eyes adjust to see the stars come out at night. Sunset provides a built in “pause,” a built in moment to rest in God’s presence. God gave us the opportunity to rest from our labors, and each day we could take a hint, when the sun begins to set, stop what you’re doing, pause for three to four minutes of time and give God thanks and praise. It does wonders for the soul.
Peace and Blessings,