Connection & Transformation

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Num. 20:1-13; Rom. 5:12-21; Matt. 20:29-34

Our Romans passage today makes connections between Adam and Christ – representations of the old and new creations.

Often in my Stained Glass Window tours at First Presbyterian Church (OKC), I have mentioned the common pairing of old and new covenant themes.  A good example of that in our windows is the 23rd Psalm window, which shows Jesus at the center as the good shepherd.  (In fact it is mistakenly named the Good Shepherd Window in a color booklet we have on all the windows).  Come check it out sometime.  It beautifully depicts the 23rd Psalm.

I got in trouble with the archivist at Willet Stained Glass Studio once when I kept referring to it as the Good Shepherd Window.  “Matt, that is NOT the good shepherd window, because the predominant motif is the 23rd Psalm.  It is everywhere!  You gotta start calling it the 23rd Psalm Window.  Oh by the way, you have a Good Shepherd Window, but it is downstairs in the narthex screen where Jesus is saying ‘I am the good shepherd.’”  It’s a rough life when you have so many windows you get them all confused, and have to rename them.  73 Willet windows.  Wow, we are spoiled.

It’s easy to see the confusion.  “The Lord is my shepherd” – an Old Testament theme imaging Yahweh as a shepherd of the people.  In our eyes, the Lord is Jesus, the Word made flesh.  Often this is how stained glass experts do things: tying Old and New Testament covenants, which occur often numerous times in each window.

Paul is not the only one to make connections between Adam and Christ – in the gospel reading, Jesus heals two blind men.  They call from the crowd – only to be hushed by them.  They shout all the more.  Jesus hears them, and in his compassion, asks what they want, and heals them.  He represents the inbreaking of the new kingdom on earth, the new Adam, from which countless generations spring forth.

Not so ironically, Jesus does not produce physical offspring, for his legacy is one of love and spirit.  In setting the tone for his ministry through deeds of power and miracles of mercy he functions as a new Adam, whose legacy is in “spiritual offspring”.  These two blind men follow him.  For all we know, they could be some of the people mentioned in Acts.  New Adam indeed.

Christ’s offspring exercise their dominion not through subduing the earth, but releasing themselves from it, and sharing an abundance of grace.  Grace pours out through the power of Christ into our lives, and that through God himself we find life, and find it abundantly.

Now let’s go share this amazing news!  If fact, please do.  Click LIKE, share this with friends on social media.  Spread the word of our awesome windows at First Pres. Spread the word of the abundant life that you can find there among the people in mission and service.  Spread the word best you can.  Radiate Christ’s beauty.  Ready…go!

-Matt

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