7/16/2016 Sermon: Knocking

Revelation 3:15-22 Today is the end of a four-week series on our stained glass windows in the church.  During this process I’ve learned that there is some debate about which Bible story each of these images represents.  It seems I say, “Jesus the Good Shepherd,” and some of you say, “King David the Shepherd.” I say, “Paul Writing His Letters,” and some of you say, “Moses and the Tablets.” Tomato, tom-ah-toh – I think we can all still get along.  And we can definitely get along on this last image, because unlike those its representation is crystal clear: “Jesus Knocking at the Door.” The reason this meaning is so clear is because of a painting by William Holman Hunt, “The Light of the World.”  Hunt conceived of the idea and put it to canvas in 1851-3.  It was – and is – a depiction of Revelation 3:20:  “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” Hunt’s concept has been replicated numerous times; our window is one of many renderings of that original painting.  You might notice that in Hunt’s version there was no doorknob in view, suggesting that Jesus could not open the door himself but it had to be opened by the resident inside.  Our window is slightly different – as are most of the paintings that have been inspired “The Light of the World.” I have long been familiar with this image because it hung in my home church in a hallway between the...

7/10/2016: Retelling the Story

RETELLING THE STORY Matthew 28:1-10 I don’t know about your family, but whenever mine gets together we tell lots of stories.  Take our trip to the beach last week.  I was there with my dad, my younger brother, Julian, and my youngest brother, Warren (and our spouses and kids).  When we get together we have no shortage of stories about growing up in the Wood household. Both my brothers are animal-lovers, so there are plenty of remembrances about the dogs we had growing up.  Warren has sometimes joined in to fondly recollect our very first dog, a black lab who we creatively named “Blackie.” Except there’s a problem with Warren telling stories about Blackie. My parents gave Blackie away about 3 years before Warren was born.  When Warren originally told stories about the first family pet, I thought he was kidding around (and he does love to kid).  But no – Warren insisted that he remembered Blackie.  He could picture her.  He had been there!  It took some work to convince him that this was not possible; I think the defining piece of evidence was the fact that we owned Blackie while living in the Cherry Street house, and Warren was born after we moved into the Maple Street house.  Warren finally conceded, but in that half-hearted way that say, “I still think I might be right.” How could Warren remember a dog he never had?  I’ll tell you how:  through stories. Warren grew up in a house where Blackie was a part of our family history.  We occasionally made mention of her, pointed her out in pictures, speculated...