I knew that my camera included photos of stained glass windows at the Manhattan First United Methodist Church. After a K-State football Saturday, we stayed in Manhattan to attend Grandparents' Day September 10 with Kinley and Brooke at Manhattan First UMC.
|Kinley & Brooke got both sets of grandparents - bonus!|
It was kind of like that moment when you're saying The Lord's Prayer at a different church and forget that they may say "forgive us our debts" instead of "forgive us our trespasses." I was a little embarrassed, but the leader graciously gave me a smile, and I corrected it in the "Hide it under a bushel - no!" verse.
But as I've looked at those photos of the stained glass later in the week and thought about the devotional, I've looked at my "mistake" a little differently. Stained glass is created when glass is broken into smaller segments, then carefully pieced back together. The final result is a sum bigger than its parts.
And that can describe my life, too. Jesus takes all those broken pieces and puts them together. Then He wants to let his Light shine through me. Does He want us to hide that light under a bushel? No! as the children will gladly tell you.
For years, the light didn't penetrate the glass. It was in parts and pieces and hidden away in a storage room. It didn't come back to life until hung in a sunny atrium and light shone through.
Across the foyer, there was a pile of cleaning buckets. They were ready to be loaded out and taken to the Great Plains UMC Conference Office. Our UMC Bishop, Ruben Saenz, had challenged Great Plains United Methodists to fill 5,000 buckets which would go to hurricane relief in Texas, Florida, Georgia and other areas impacted by storms.
I didn't count how many buckets were sitting in the foyer. I should have. But there were probably at least 20, and Jill says their church eventually contributed 75 or so. And while we were in Manhattan, our small three-point UMC charge in Stafford County was also collecting buckets and/or contributions of $65 which would fill one kit with cleaning supplies, gloves, clothesline, sponges and more.
|The buckets from our 3-point charge were piled into Pastor Nate's vehicle for a trip to Wichita and then on to UMCOR.|
As of Friday, a total of 5,001 buckets had been collected by United Methodist churches - big and small - from across the states of Kansas and Nebraska. I don't think the monetary contributions are included in that count, but the money raised also will go to UMCOR - United Methodist Committee on Relief. In fact, UMCOR uses 100 percent of the donations it receives to help victims. Administrative costs are covered from other church resources. (Compare that to other relief organizations!)
|Photo from Great Plains UMC Facebook page (I love that there's a "Let's Do This!" slogan on several of the buckets.|
And I remembered another stained glass window photo I'd taken at the Youthville campus many years ago.
And if we forget, all we need to remember are little voices singing, "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands."