Daily Bread July 07

Stained Glass Devotional
By Terry Brown of Pigeon, MI, USA

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. -James 1:17

As I sat in church, my eyes fell upon the beautiful, stained glass windows. The bright morning sun had illuminated the designs within the glass with shafts of colors extending like 3D images on the walls, pews, and floors, as well as on a bald head or two.

I looked at the images: lion, lamb, and small child-peace. The colors of the window, mixing with the light in a unique and exciting way, delivered to my senses an image of the Holy Spirit which facilitated an almost tangible awareness of hope and peace.

Yet in one corner of the sanctuary a single window was set in darkness, revealing no brilliance, no colors. An ominous cloud over an otherwise glorious setting also tugged on my conscience.

An addition had been made to the church behind the window which cut off the stained glass from a light source. One could not make out the dazzling radiance it was created to display.

I’ve been like that window, walled off from the Son, my source of light. Too often I’ve failed to reveal the purpose for which I’ve been created. I have built walls that restrict God’s light and keep it from filtering through my own unique vessel. By focusing on my own needs and erecting selfish partitions, I have denied others a view of what Christ can do through me.

Today I will begin to tear down the walls that separate me from God and others. Today I will shine with the light of Christ.

Prayer Phrase

“Awake, my soul!” (Psalm 57:8 NRSV)

Spiritual Practice

The Prayer of the Heart

Early Christian disciples desired to take seriously the scripture mandate to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The prayer of the heart invites us to pray “continuously” by repeating and returning to a prayer phrase planted for intentional reflection and deepening. Choose a word or phrase (from scripture, hymnody, or personal reflection) that has meaning for you. The Jesus Prayer is one form of the prayer of the heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:35-43). Invite this simple phrase to repeat in your heart throughout the day, awakening your soul to God’s presence.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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