An Idea Takes Shape…
When the idea of updating the windows in the front of the church came up I was excited. When I was asked to serve on the committee I was thrilled, but when I was asked to design them I was honored. After several meetings about what needed to be conveyed in the panels I had a vision. I thought about the main focus: Christ and the empty cross that is front and center above the altar. The committee wanted the windows to tell a story. A story that you might have heard before, but with a different approach. The faces remain blank for a reason, you are that reason! Place yourself in the panels, take yourself back in time. Feel what it would have been like to be Mary the mother of Jesus or the feeling that John the Baptist had when he saw the heavens open up and descend like a dove upon Jesus right in front of him. Join me in the story that changes lives.
(Note: Since the descriptions of the panels are being presented in story form, the panels below are arranged as per the storyline, not starting from Panel #1 on the far left.)
The panel on the left next to the cross is where the story begins. The angel spreads the good news about the birth of our Lord.
Luke 2:10-12 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
This panel shows the Lamb of God representing more than just God’s son, but our Savior and the Shephard that will not leave us behind. The bottom part of this panel shows a time where Jesus humbles himself to wash the feet of the disciple Peter. Jesus is teaching us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 13:6-8 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
The top portion of the first panel on the left shows the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist.
John3:16-17 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”
The bottom portion ends with Jesus praying and this can be interpreted a few ways. Jesus shows us how to pray in Matthew 6:8-13 "So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Or you can jump ahead in the story and reflect on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane where he is praying to our Father in Heaven about the events still to come.
Matthew 26:38-39 Then He said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther He fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Looking to the far right to the largest panel, this is where the story continues. The sacraments are shown at the top of the panel along with Jesus and the disciples gathered around for the last supper. There is something very magical that happens at the last supper and happens every time we take the sacraments. This is a time to reflect and put ourselves back in time that night with Jesus before his death.
Matthew 26:26-29 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Moving left to the next panel we are moving back toward the cross. This panel shows the women going to the tomb where Jesus was placed only to find the stone was rolled away. What a scary and glorious time for the followers of Christ. For He has risen!
Matthew 28:6-7 "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”
The last panel of the story is the one next to the cross on the right. It takes you to present day. A couple just like you and me kneels in prayer with the holy spirit and the words of the Bible guiding us through our lives showing us how to be the people of God just like Jesus was showing the people of the past.