March 31 – Now in a Photo Dimly…


Our church member photo directories have arrived. Some of us grabbed our copies last night at the Faith Acts dinner or before choir practice. They will be available Sunday after worship in the Fellowship Hall. Of course 8:30 worshipers will be able to receive theirs right after the service, but 9:45 folks, please wait until Coffee Hour to take yours. I know, some 9:45ers may be tempted to get in line with the 8:30 crowd and get their copy before worship, but you need to know that the ushers have been instructed to confiscate the directory from anyone caught browsing through it during the service.

Church photo directories are a nuisance to produce and a joy to receive. Yes, our new directory has its nuisance factor – thanks to the amazing LPC team that put up with all the nuisance. And, for sure, our new directory has an even higher joy factor.

As you page through your new directory from front cover to back, you’ll see well over 400 faces looking right back at you. Your church family in twenty pages of photos. There’s a phone directory in the back.

Faces are important. The glint in the eye, the upturn of a smile, the color in the cheek tell others who we are. As we meet friends from long ago we are reminded that while time may leave its marks, some things never change. “I’d recognize that face anywhere,” we say.

Faces are important. Some of us may open our new directories and find our photo first just to make sure our face and name have been properly linked.

The forensic scientist may settle for finger prints and DNA samples. We need to see a face.

One of the tragedies of texting is a relationship without faces. We need to see a face.

The Bible thinks highly of faces. In their letters, both Paul and John express their deep desires to see their readers face to face. “We pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face,” Paul writes his friends in Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 3:10).

Moses’ experience with God on Sinai is depicted as face to face.

As Paul contemplates the present life of faith with the glory of what is to come, he says, “Now in a mirror dimly, then face to face…” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

I think Michelangelo got it right when he pictures the beginning as face to face, eye to eye, the man with God. And Paul says of the end that we will be face to face again.


Faces are important.

My guess is that this is the sixth or seventh church photo directory the production of which I have somehow been a part. I have know just a little bit of the nuisance of the things and lot of their joy.

Back in the time of those first few photo directories, we’d take our new photo books home, and, after checking to be sure our names and faces were correctly linked, we’d look at the photos of our friends making mental notes of nice picture or not. Then we’d put the directory on the kitchen counter near the wall phone, maybe alongside the yellow pages and the phone book, so we’d be able to look up a number when we had a phone call to make.

So what shall we do now that we don’t have wall phones, yellow pages and phone books?

How about keeping that new photo directory with your Bible and devotional books? Why not use that new photo directory as a prayer guide. We may not be able to pray face to face for every member of our church family, but now in a photo dimly…

See you Sunday