I’m totally opposed to stained glass windows in church. I object to the idea and to the cost.
Having stained glass windows keeps the church members focused inward, not outward. Their view is of pretty pictures, not of the world they are called to. We are called to love and serve the Lord by loving our neighbors. How can we think of loving and serving them if we can’t even see them?
The windows are expensive. Maybe the church as a whole raised the money to put the window in. Maybe a parishioner donated the money in honor of someone who died. It doesn’t really matter how the money was raised – 8 t0 20 thousand dollars was just spent on a window – when there are needy people who need help. Jesus told us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless. He told us not to build up treasures for ourselves on this earth. Do you see the contradiction here?
The windows are most beautiful to those people who are inside the building. The people who are inside already get the message. It is the people outside who need it. And what is that message? That God loves us, and needs us, and wants us. God made us, every one of us, and we are loved beyond measure. It is the duty of people in the church to share that message to every person. These stories of love and healing and redemption are stories that everybody needs to hear.
I propose that each one of us needs to become a stained glass window. We need to let God into our lives and our hearts and let the light of God shine through us. We need to be the way that people see God. We need to carry the stories of love and healing and redemption with us by living them out. We need to bring them to life. They need to not be stories so much as reminders. They need to be touchstones to let us know we are on the right path. They aren’t stories that happened back then – the stories are happening right now. There are still people like Abraham and David and Moses and Jonah. There are still people like Sarah and Leah and Miriam and Mary.
God still calls us.
I propose that the purpose of church is to wake people up to this idea, and to teach people how to be servants of God. I propose that a church that is all about the building rather than the people has got it backwards.