A Mother’s Gift Tells A Coloful Story
The Rev. Timothy Naisby
As far back as I can remember, my mother and father have been using their creative gifts to bring beauty into this world. Quilts for a new born baby, wooden toy boxes painted with Noah’s Ark, prayer shawls for those who need extra comfort or that feeling of a warm embrace. Over the years, I have grown accustomed to the comforting smell of a lumber yard and a library of fabric adorned with wall-to-wall color and texture. To me, it’s something of a biblical and spiritual experience when watching people quietly, and purposefully, use their hands to create gifts that can be shared with others.
In many of my Spiritual Formation courses and experiences in working with worshippers and those journeying in faith, I have found many parishioners express a great deal of value in seeing images related to where we may be in the church year. During these times, I like to offer imagery that tells the story.
The church year typically has colors associated with the liturgical season. For instance, during Lent you will see the use of purple and black. White is associated with Easter, Christmas, and Baptism. Blue and purple usually accompany the weeks of Advent. Red, orange, and yellow remind us of the symbol fire of Pentecost, representing the Holy Spirit and the enthusiasm that filled the apostles, replacing their fears and offering courage and enthusiasm to share the Good News of greater faith. And finally, green.
Green is the color used for most of the year, symbolizing our growth in faith and relationship with the Lord.
Traditional “paraments” or altar cloths are, in general, fairly plain and don’t really tell a story. When I arrived at Moravian Manor Communities, one of the first things I noticed about the chapel in Steinman Hall was its need for a little color and life. I approached my mother, the quilter, sewer, and embroiderer “extraordinaire” and asked if she could help bring a bit of joy and light to the MMC worship space.
Without hesitation, she began sewing and creating, collaborating with me as to what images might be most meaningful for the season.
I am humbled by the many compliments received for the skill, time, and beauty that my mother donates to her passion. I love the unique character that they bring to our services and I feel honored to have my mother with us in worship, so to speak. Whenever I think of my mother, I am blessed with the thought of my father as well, and it offers me the opportunity to reflect on the Christian witness my parents exemplify…forgiveness, charity, love.
None other than the grace of God has offered me the privilege to serve here, the residents of Moravian Manor Communities and I want to make our worship spaces a place of comfort, hope, and light for all who enter.