I did my best to listen to the prayers and to follow along in the hymnals but I kept glancing at the stained glass windows. I liked how they colored the light that streamed through the glass, and I watched how the yellows and reds and blues brightened mostly empty pews and mostly gray hair.
At one time people knew what the symbols meant. The average man or woman would have read the story of Christ through the images and the colors. They would have learned of his love and of his work by studying the pictures and they would have shared what they had learned with others who couldn’t read.
Long ago, stained glass was more than an expensive tradition. It was a communications tool — a way to reach the masses right where they were. Then, as the literacy rate rose, the holy stories were shared more and more through books, then devotionals and magazines. Tracts and T-shirt slogans and tweets. Always writing, but rarely innovating.
Do people need more words — or do they need more love? And how do we meet the masses where they are today?