Jerry and I had the privilege yesterday of attending a lovely family wedding in a newly built sanctuary. Upon entering the building, I was immediately struck by the powerful images in a large stained glass window, a radiant red cross flanked by the Greek Alpha and Omega. Of course this image comes from Jesus’ words in Revelation 22:12, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
What a joyous time we had in the presence of the Lord as these precious young people spoke their vows and embarked on their glorious new beginning.
As we moved through a line at the reception that followed, my Uncle Lamartine, the bride’s grandfather, and I talked about the magnificent stained glass window. “Do you know,” he said, “that the window has ruby glass in it?”
I sensed the Lord would have me listen closely to what my uncle was saying.
He went on. “Ruby glass is actually crafted with real gold. When it’s made you can see the gold shimmering on its surface.”
My uncle, who is something of an antiquities expert, told me that in the late nineteenth century, vases and other items for household use were made of the glass.
Later, I went back to the sanctuary, made pictures, and we left to return home. But on the three and a half hour trip, my thoughts kept returning to the glorious window.
After we arrived, I went upstairs to unpack, and a few minutes later, I heard my husband weeping as he came up the stairs. I rushed to his side.
He’d just received a call that the sixteen-year-old son of long time family friends had died in an auto accident earlier in the day.
For a moment, our world seemed to rock.
We staggered around the house together, making phone calls, trying to catch our breaths. The father of this child used to play with Jerry’s daughter Alden before she died at eight.
I’m writing now from the car as we travel to be with this family who lives several hours away.
And I’m still thinking about that ruby glass cross. The one with the gold in it.
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering…
Surely he took up our infirmities, and carried our sorrows…
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:3-5)
The red river of his blood runs gold and he calls us to immerse ourselves in it. The treasure of our peace and our healing lie in the pulsing crimson tide emanating from the man of sorrows.
Yesterday, we stood in that flow as we witnessed one of life’s sweet beginnings, and later we anchored ourselves in it as the winds blew through our home bringing the news of such a young one’s death.
I’m so thankful Jesus is present in all of our beginnings.
And all of our endings.
And all of our in betweens.
Because He is the beginning and the end.
I praise Him for the blood that runs gold.
“Oh,precious is the flow…” from Nothing but the Blood of Jesus