The season after Pentecost is so much more than Ordinary. This is the time of year we look deeply into passages in Scripture that highlight the life of Christ, his ministry, and his connection to God's creation throughout history. There are several beautiful designs in our Ordinary Time collection this year. Here are some descriptions of a few:
Our "Bread of Life" and "Bountiful Blessings" stoles feature simple images packed with meaning. They remind us of God's love made known in the bread, wine, and healing we receive around Christ's table. The dove reminds us of God's Spirit ever present with us as we worship in community. As we partake in the Sacraments, we acknowledge Christ's body, blood, and Spirit conjoining with ours, sustaining us for ministry in the world and in service toward one another. The featured verse on both stoles is Luke 22: 19-20, highlighting the Words of Institution.
Our "Loaves and Fishes" design invokes the six different times we read of Jesus feeding thousands of people in our Gospels with only a few loaves of bread and a couple fish. These stories teach us that God's love for us fulfills our every need. We're also taught there is always enough of God's grace to go around without one bit of it running out!
The lower half of our "Flowering Hope" stole features two crosses embedded in a field of flowers. This stole grounds us in God's nourishing love and hope for all. Through Christ, we know we're offered grace, freedom, and forgiveness that heal us. As these tenants take root in our lives, our love for neighbor grows and our hearts blossom and rejoice.
Our "Jesus, the Good Shepherd" stole features Jesus holding a lamb and a staff behind a backdrop of green pasture. The fabric on the back refers to the still, quiet waters from which we drink in Christ. Jesus tends to us and cares for us as his flock. He also calls us to love one another. Our featured verse on this stole highlights this call.
Finally, our "Trinity" stole uplifts God's preference for diversity and relationship. God's 3-in-1 nature (God, Son, and Holy Spirit) is in relationship with itself. God's 3-in-1 nature is in relationship with us. The Trinity then reminds us that relationships require intention. They also require the holding of tension because, thanks to diversity, we can often disagree. We pray the God of creation enrich us with a spirit that favors diversity in light of difference. May we express the same kind of all-encompassing, galactic love for others that God has shown us in Christ!