by Jim Olsen (1914-2002), adapted
UU Wausau Church Member 1949-2002
What do I experience… What do I think as I sit and gaze upon the windows above the pulpit?
That depiction of the babe, the mother, the men, the animals attending and witnessing? And what of the three men appearing on the windows above the rear balcony? Can Unitarian Universalists (Christians, humanists, atheists, and religious liberals of every sort) worship in such surroundings?
One must have a passing acquaintance with the Bible story, whether taken as fact or as a figment of the imagination of sages long ago, to find a reason for those windows. A child was certainly born on a day long ago, just as babes are coming into the world today and will be born tomorrow. In his or her mother’s arms, with family and friends surrounding, the babe ought to be welcomed into a caring place called home or church. We of this congregation, as a protective and concerned community, hold each child, our own or that of others, in a warm and tender embrace.
And those three men who dominate the rear window — regal, imperious, imposing… diverse ethnic characters: white, black, brown… what might be their thoughts as they gaze from afar across the sanctuary to that scene in the front?
They seem to express that curiosity that elders hold for every newborn whose future they watch in wonderment and hope. One sect cannot claim the images on these windows but are timeless in symbolizing the depth of the human experience.
And as those three kings might march down these aisles toward the window in the north, they would pass between rows of windows honoring early members of this church, but more symbolically, perhaps, representing a community of believers who would watch in awe and gladness the spectacle of the exemplars of power, bowing in reverence at the sight of a new life coming into the world.