I finished the prayer shawl for the district superintendent, which will be presented at our charge conference tomorrow night. I have to say this is my favorite one so far because of the colors. My intention was to use the warm fall colors to create something that would bring to mind the colors found in fire.
Please forgive this Cliffs' Notes version of Methodist history; this symbolism of warmth and fire is tied to the founders of Methodism.
As the Wesley brothers, Charles and John, felt the movement of the Holy Spirit in their lives in 1738, their hearts were strangely warmed. John Wesley's conversion experience took place during the reading of Luther's preface to the Epistle to the Romans at a society meeting at Aldersgate. Just a few days before, his brother, Charles, had a similar experience.
Their response was to share the Good News of the Gospel by preaching throughout Great Britain, making the rounds to various places on a schedule. Thus was born the Methodist movement and the first examples of the Circuit Riders.
Well, enough of that lesson; it's not my intention to summarize the history of my church, but to remind us all that the Holy Spirit does soften and warm our hearts and we are called to respond.
The Holy Spirit's work can be symbolized in a prayer shawl, spreading the warmth in many ways -- through the colors, through the physical warmth and comfort of the wrap, through the shared prayers that went into the work.
Similarly, it symbolizes the work of the local church's ministries, reaching out to touch and make a difference in the lives of others.