Glory Sightings

Sometimes, as a congregation, we have that “deer in the headlights look” when it comes time in Sunday Worship for H.O.P.E. Encounters and Glory Sightings. “Just who have I shared Christ with this past week?” and “Where have I actually seen God’s presence?” are questions we wrestle with. Is God only in those “lights flashing”, “knocked off your horse”, Apostle Paul-style “Damascus Road Experiences”? “Where is God?” we wonder. OK, enough already!

What are “Glory Sightings”? Glory Sightings can be as bodacious as a spectacular sunrise or as subtle as the breaths we draw. Allow me to offer an example. One recent morning, I noticed that the sun had just begun to peek through the Norway spruce trees behind the parsonage. Another great day I reckoned. As I walked from the kitchen with a cup of hot tea, I noticed the sunlight falling on a white plastic bag laying on the dining room table. Then I remembered: that’s those Communion linens, towels, and tablecloth (our very own Paula Whalley sewed the tablecloth) that Lynn brought from home. They needed attention!

So, I plugged in the old Shark iron, added some water for steam, and began to iron and fold the linens and tablecloth. After about the second linen, I began to notice how the ever strengthening sunlight was adding a brilliance to the plain white cloths. I also noticed how soft and pliable the linens have become. The repeated washings not only have removed the bread crumbs and juice stains from the many Eucharist Celebrations those linens have attended, but also added a worn and wonderful character to the cloths. Each stroke of the iron smoothed more wrinkles from the cloths. Soon I had a stack of eight no-wrinkle, brilliantly white, and neatly folded old “friends” ready for the next Celebration of what Father Wesley termed, “a Primary Means of Grace”. The cloths were prepared for the next Holy Communion and I had had a Glory Sighting.

Did you catch the Glory Sighting? The Spirit moved me to realize that those linens are like our lives as Christians. God’s love brightens our lives just as the sunlight brightened the “whiteness” of the cloths. Sometimes our lives become “crumbly” and “stained” but our repeated coming together and celebrating God’s grace through the Eucharist helps to “wash” out the “crumbs” and remove the “stains” of life. The strokes of the iron smoothed the cloths’ wrinkles just as our Servanthood “unwrinkles” us and allows us to take on that worn, yet wonderful character of a life conformed to God’s purposes for the Kingdom. Yep, the mundane, ordinary ironing of washed cloths was my Glory Sighting that day. THIS IS HOW GOD SHOWS UP FOLKS! God is very much to be found in the ordinary and mundane events of life. Now, what Glory Sightings have you seen in the ordinary and mundane?

Oh yeah, one other point. Do you know that you can use ordinary, mundane activities that turned into Glory Sightings as openings for sharing your faith? We call those H.O.P.E. Encounters. Are you watching and listening?

May you allow the Spirit to reveal God’s glory…

Pastor Scott