Over the Thanksgiving weekend, my neighbors and I set up the Advent wreath outside the church for the third time. Surprisingly, for a structure that was built from an old architect’s drawing table, cardboard forms for pouring cement and coat hangers, it is holding up amazingly well. Back in 2020, during the first year of the pandemic, I created the wreath as a reminder to everyone who passed by the church that our congregation was still active and worshiping. There is no doubt, those were dark days. In comparison, a year later, the future seemed bright. Many were vaccinated, boosted, and ready to return for Christmas services. Then came the Omicron variant. Before then, I barely knew a soul who had Covid, but suddenly I could name a dozen with personal connections. Now, nearly 70% of Minnesotans have had Covid, and new cases occur every day. Yes, this December the ongoing pandemic is more of a nuisance than a fear. So, the ramshackle Advent wreath has found its place outside the church again announcing to the neighborhood that in spite of life’s trials and sorrows and war, Christ is coming to the world anew.
Our congregation has been active and thriving through these Covid years. Nowhere has this been more apparent in the care and restoration of the sanctuary windows. Join us for worship on
Sunday, December 4th as the first of the side windows will be rededicated. The images, patterns and colors are stunning.
Appropriately and serendipitously, the first window to be rededicated features a unique image appropriate to the season of Advent. It was difficult to see the finer details in the uncleaned, stained glass, but the image is that of a unicorn. In Christian thought, the unicorn represented the incarnation of Christ, a symbol of purity and grace that could be captured only by a virgin. Many Renaissance artists painted pictures of the Virgin Mary and the unicorn. The two side panels of the Rose of Sharon and the lily portray flowers described in the Bible as traditional symbols of purity.
Every window has a story to tell, and over the year ahead we will endeavor to complete this restoration. We are fortunate at Lake of the Isles to be surrounded by such beauty, and by a congregation committed to maintaining and renewing the wonders entrusted to our care.
Peace, Pastor Arden Haug