When Howes Chapel was first built, the outside door was a massive solid oak door with large metal hinges. In the early 1970’s the chapel was renovated; the large oak door was replaced, due to fire code, with a glass door; the dark oak chairs that stood on a slate floor were replaced by blonde red cushioned pews, and a red carpet was placed in the center aisle. Students quickly scotch taped their 95 theses to the glass door, demanding a return of the former Howes Chapel.
Change! Watching over all of these changes were the twin angels that reside in the swinging doors that separate the narthex from the chapel. Each door is adorned with a striking golden haired angel with magnificent golden wings It is interesting, but also in keeping with the theme of the chapel, that these twin angels are praying with folded hands. Perhaps in a constant watch over us as we pray.
The Gospel of Mark affirms that after Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit, “He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and he was with the wild beasts and the angels waited on him.” (Mark 1 12 NRSV) In a sense, we are also like Howes Chapel; we too have changed and are not the same persons we were twenty years ago or even two years ago. Perhaps we too can claim the promise that during this time of change in our lives, the angels will also wait on us. So Be It. Amen.
Today, then, Garrett-Evangelical prays through these two Angel Window for all those who face changes in their lives.
Almighty God, in a world of change You placed eternity in our hearts and gave us power to discern good from evil. Grant us sincerity, that we may persistently seek the things that endure, refusing those which perish, and that, amid things vanishing and deceptive, we may see the truth steadily, follow the light faithfully, and grow ever richer in that love which is the life of all people; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen (Book of Worship # 510 )
By Al Caldwell, Retired Faculty, editor