Window Reflection: Week Three of Easter
By Kathy Christensen | April 13, 2018
Hope is the theme of the second window, which depicts a female figure at the foot of the Cross with the words, “Simply to Thy Cross, I cling” (from a hymn), on a ribbon beneath the panel. Lily of the Valley, the Rose of Sharon and the Agnus Dei are also shown, the whole window being surrounded by ivy leaves and tendrils.
“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” - 1 John 3:1-3
This passage tells us that we are children of God and that we are to become reflections of God. Jesus said that we won’t make it to heaven unless we change and become like little children. (Not like middle schoolers, not like teenagers — but like little children.)
It brings me great joy to watch my toddler granddaughter interact with her loving parents — watching her also helps me to understand what my relationship with my heavenly Father should look like. At this stage of her life, my granddaughter’s whole world is her mother and father. She learns about life from watching what they do and listening to what they say. She believes what they tell her, she trusts them and senses that they will protect her and provide for her needs. When she’s hungry, food is set before her. When she falls down, they pick her up. When she cries, they comfort her. Her sweet face reflects their happiness when she masters some new skill or reaches another developmental milestone. Her face lights up and she shrieks with delight whenever she sees either her mother or father after a few hours away from them. At this stage she lives to love her parents, she wants to please them.
It’s no wonder Jesus says we must become like children in our relationships with him, isn’t it? Little children are so naturally open and honest, so absolutely present in the moment, so eager to learn from their parents. My granddaughter is hugged and kissed and treasured by her parents every day — she responds to them with her own slobbery kisses and enthusiastic hugs. And then she reflects and spreads her parents’ love for her, hugging and kissing other people, her dolls, and assorted stuffed animals. Plush hippos and ducks and bears and frogs receive the same enthusiastic affection. Her love is given freely with no thought as to whether or not its recipients are deserving or what they look like.
This is exactly the kind of pure love God wants us to have for one another. This is not easy — some days go better than others. Some of the people who’ve found their way into our lives honestly seem downright unlovable. Again and again we fall short and disappoint God by being critical and judgmental of others rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt or taking the time to listen to their stories and trying to understand them.
We are so wonderfully blessed to be children of God, members of his immediate family. During this holy season of Easter let us resolve to become more like little children — loving generously, trusting in our heavenly Father, joyfully reflecting his goodness, and showing the light of his love in these troubled times.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, help us to see you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you with child-like wonder, love, and trust. Give us open minds and loving hearts; help us to reflect your grace and goodness to our broken world even as we celebrate this Eastertide and the miracle of springtime. Amen.