home > Pastor’s Desk > 2017 > February 04th > All You Ever Needed To Know About Windows

ALL YOU EVER NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT WINDOWS

I would like us to take a moment to celebrate windows. These versatile building products possess all the attributes of greatness and genius. They are simple – glass and a frame. But they can also be intricate – tiny coloured pieces of glass and artistically shaped lead. They can be small. They can be massive. They can be found in a palace and in a hut. They let things in and keep things out. Their view can cheer a soul or strike terror in a soldier. They can be functional or they can also be stunningly beautiful. Windows done well are perfectly humble. And for all these reasons I think we not only need to take a moment to celebrate windows, but to also learn from them.

¶ “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light.
Matthew 6:22 THE MESSAGE

windows-make-grand-views

Even though windows can be dressed up with drapes, curtains, blinds or shutters, they are not there to draw attention to themselves. They serve to reveal. They make it possible to see without battling the elements of wind, rain, or glare. Windows can help let light in and thus brighten up a room. Windows facing toward the sun invite its warmth in. They reveal, they brighten, they warm, and they do it all gladly.

From the outside of a home, windows tell a passerby what kind of home this is. The passerby may see a family sitting around a dinner table enjoying a meal, each other, and their guests’ company. The passerby may look in and notice the décor and see that the occupant has an eye for colour. They may also attempt to look in and fail and thus conclude that the occupant values their privacy. 

 

window-the_church

The Church is meant to be like a window. Windows have longed formed an integral and symbolic component of church building architecture. Our new church building, due for completion some time in June, will have some bold windows facing out to our community. This too is intentionally symbolic. 

 

In our Western Culture, we are living in a privacy-obsessed world. Life hasn’t always been this privatised. For most of human history for most human cultures, there has been a strong sense of community, togetherness, mutuality, and a higher degree of appropriate transparency. Because of this strong cultural undertow, it is often challenging for people who are now coming to Christ and being introduced to the church family to appreciate that God wants to do something in us not just in me. In fact, the Apostle Paul told the Ephesians (a church made up of Jews and Gentiles) that by God bringing them together into one church family, that He was showing the world that His Son is more important to His children than their ethnicity, language, skin-colour, or heritage.

To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 3:8-10

window-stained-glassIn other words, the local church is meant to be a window. As a window, the community where God has called the church to assemble can look in. When people look through the church as a window they will see the unsearchable riches of Christ deposited in people just like them! When they look at the church in their community they will see the thing they crave more than anything else (unconditional love, forgiveness, wholesome friendships, helpful instruction, grace to go on) evident in the lives of people just like them!

From inside the church looking out, the church as a window helps the believer to see the world more clearly. What was previously obscured by the elements of life, and now filtered out by the Christ-supplied window, enables the believer to see people as we’ve never seen them before. It enables to see the demands for what is abhorrent as a deep ache in the souls of those who seeking what they have not found.

Each Sunday, we webcast our service Live on the internet. It’s like watching our service on TV, only better, because you can watch it anywhere in the world on a smart-phone, tablet computer, smart-TV, or computer. This is an expression of our desire to be a window through which the world may look in. This is why it is important for all believers to gather together each Sunday and declare to the world that celebrating Christ in His House is more important to us than sport, business, or me-time. And when our service together is dismissed and the weekly webcast stops, our windows are still open for the world to look in – but not through one larger than normal window, but through the individual windows we each serve as for Christ when we go our way into our worlds.

So three cheers for the window and three cheers for Christ who has gifted us to be His window for a lost world to gaze through and behold His grace in people just like them. In this way, we are a window of hope to a person who feels there is none.

window-glass-floor

Amen.

Your Pastor,

Andrew

Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.

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Follow Me AS I FOLLOW JESUS

We all walk a path in life that is set before us. We start with very little experience and knowledge about the purpose of our life and the world beyond us. All of humanity experiences joy, wisdom, strength, weakness, suffering and hardship, especially those who are “contending for the faith”. Knowing Jesus is a very special part of this life journey.

A CERTAIN GOD

We can be reasonably certain about many things. In fact, without this certainty about life, none of us could function. We can be certain that tonight the sun will ‘set’. Tomorrow the sun will ‘rise’. After the February 28th it will be February 29th. This year there will be international unrest and much political instability in many parts of the world. In the coming months global warming will be identified by politicians as the source of floods and wildfires. Several high profile international celebrities will die this year. Archaeologists will make a discovery that will require some aspects of history to be rewritten. And you will certainly have one of the most memorable moments in your life in the coming days. You see, there are clearly some things we can be quite certain about. However, there are some aspects about our future that we cannot be certain about, yet in those moments we can be certain about what we should do.

LOW COST LIVING

Turn on any TV or radio news lately and there’s bound to be a story about the current “cost of living crisis”. We all feel it. Initially most people accepted the widespread price-rises were caused by 2020-21 pandemic lockdowns. But whatever the reasons for the rapid price hikes over the past two years, every time we go to the supermarket we feel it again. While governments are striving to curb the impact of this cost of living crisis, there remains a way to enjoy low cost living. The key to this is recognising that the most valuable things in life are literally priceless. The path to enjoying low-cost living is to be found in Christ, and what He taught — and it begins with treasure.

How To Know Jesus Better

It’s a scary thought to realise that the Jesus we have been told about and worship may not really be known to us at all. We can ‘know’ about someone or something, but not really know them. In Christian circles it’s often referred to as head knowledge not heart knowledge.

Knowing Christ Better

As a church, this year’s theme is coming closer to Christ by getting to know Him better. I feel that I am “the least qualified person” to tell anyone how this is done — but someone else has already claimed this distinction – the apostle Paul. After decades of hearing directly from Christ, seeing extraordinary miracles, being taken to heaven temporarily, planting churches across the Roman Empire, he could still say I would give anything to really know Christ – even if it meant suffering like He did! (Phil. 3:7-10). Therefore, I could say: If you do this or that, you will then know Christ better – but in my view, it’s not as easy as that! How we develop our relationship with Christ is shaped by several factors including our personality, our life experiences, our physical health and fitness, and our relationships with others (especially our parents and particularly our father). In fact, I believe that there is a relationship between how we have learned to build relationships with others (and notably how we have learned to relate to those who are closest to us) and how we then proceed to have a relationship with God. Even though I have expressed my lack of qualifications in telling anyone how to have a closer relationship with Christ, I still can, like one hungry beggar to another hungry beggar, offer you a few of the morsels of food that I’ve been able to find.

SOME PEOPLE HAVE AMAZING BUTS

I know of several people with amazing buts. There’s Jo’, Mo’, Sam, Esther, Jerry, and others. Each of these people were gifted by God with an amazing but that changed there life and the course of human history. Sometimes these gifts came with a …then, or …God, or …the LORD. When it comes to the size of things, a but is a relatively small thing (in Greek it can be just two letters: de) but it can have huge implications and enormously great blessings for multitudes. I hope to show you how this was the case with each of the people I have chosen as samples, and then show you how God is your God of buts.

OPEN

What does the word ‘open’ mean to you? Like language itself, it is like any word in which the meaning only comes from the context in which it is used. I can think of at least 12 different understandings of this word, some of which I will point out, most I will not, and one that I focus on because it is prophetically important for where we are at as a church at this crucial time.

ONE THING I HAVE TO SAY

​I’m always amazed at the really cool events I’d organised for my kids to experience, so that they might have happy memories – but now they don’t remember it except the random comment someone made in the car trip on the way there or what snack was eaten. Conversely, if you make a mistake, well that one is remembered! Once I drove Andrew’s car and just lightly hit something so it ended up with an annoying 2cm scratch. The mistake is (still) there in full view to anyone who looks. Is Andrew going to remember this above the years of my devotion to him? (Not likely, but some people do remember the wrong for way too long!) If you had the choice, what one thing would you want to be remembered for? What one thing would you want your family to remember? It’s not often going to be the thing you have in mind.

‘Famous last words’ comes from the hope that you’ll be remembered for them. If you were given the privilege of being able to articulate as the important thing to say, to be remembered by all, what would it be? Would it be a reflection on your love toward someone? Would it be a directive on how to have the best life? Would it be that you wished you had done something? Someone once mused, ‘would your dying words be that you’d wished you’d spent just one more day in the office’? (Not likely.)

AT THE END OF THIS YEAR I WILL RECOUNT 12 WONDERFUL THINGS (An Explication of Psalm 9)

This is my last end-of-year Pastor’s Desk post. When the head of our Live-stream ministry, Sari, asked me what I was thankful for this year, my immediate answer was obvious and predictable. But since then, I have considered that I also have eleven other things for which I am grateful to GOD for. In this last ever end-of-year Pastor’s Desk please indulge as I share my heartfelt thanks to God and for those God has used to bless me this year.

HE WAS BORN A KING

The king who reigned over Judea when Jesus was born was Herod the Great. Herod had no legitimate claim to the throne of Israel. He was from an Idumean noble family who supported the Roman occupation of Palestine. As a reward he was appointed by the Roman Senate as the King of Judea. Despite his attempts to curry favour with the Jews, including several major public works programs (including completing the temple reconstruction) he was still largely unpopular among the Jews. Little wonder then that when the Magi arrived in Jerusalem with their large retinue and requested to view the birth of the prophesied King of the Jews, Herod was emotionally threatened by this revelation. Herod immediately ordered an enquiry from the chief priests and religious scribes.