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Cross, Wild Rose, Grapes - SL,3a

St. Luke's Sanctuary Stained Glass Window - SL,3a

This is first window in the third set on the left side of the sanctuary, when entering from the back, at St. Luke's United Methodist Church. For this journey it is designated as window SL,3a.

All of the windows at St. Luke's have the same main structure. The information about the cut glass surrounding the oculus is in the text just below. If you wish to skip this part and just read about the oculus and the symbol contained therein, CLICK HERE. Otherwise, read on.

At St. Luke's, all of the windows are a mix of styles including both cut and hand stained glass. The main structure of each window, as well as the memorial plaque, is made of cut glass meant to diffuse the light and fill the sanctuary with gorgeous bright colored light. The pictorial oculus at the center of each window is hand stained glass which, when observed up close, provides striking color and detail. These are meant to help tell the faith story and connect us along our own faith journey.

Let's look at this glass from the outside frame edge first and work our way in to the oculus at the center. We start with a double band of brown and green marbled glass. The meaning of the colors brown and green in this part of the window invite us to depart from the focus of worldly things and let the journey inward fill us with life and rebirth along the way.

The red ring of glass reminds us that the blood of Jesus Christ is what cleanses us and purifies us on our journey to our own center as well as the center of the window. The red color is also meant to remind us of God's unconditional love for each of us.

The next ring is made from a beautiful rainbow colored glass that makes up a set of pillars that connect the left and right of the window from the top to the bottom. The top of the pillars also supports a section at the upper dome of the window, made of very colorful rainbow glass, reminding us of heaven above. The rainbow colored glass is to remind us of the connection and covenant that exists between God and his people. The fact that pillars are used, a strong architectural symbol, and that there is a yellow band in the base of the pillar helps us to remember that the connection we have with God is powerful and one we can safely build on.

The main section of the window is filled with bright yellow glass that lets in beautiful light to fill the sanctuary. This same yellow light reminds us of the gates of heaven and the power and glory of God.

Surrounding the oculus at center is a ring of red glass that reminds us that our journey through life through the blood of Christ is what enables us to truly experience each of the gifts depicted at the center of the window.

The oculus of this window depicts three symbols: The Cross, Grapes on the Vine, and the Wild Rose.

The first of these symbols, the Cross, is a Latin Cross with brown hand-painted glass to depict the wood that the cross was made of. The Latin Cross is the most universal symbol and appropriate world-wide as a symbol of the crucifixion of Christ. It is also known as the Crux immissa. The Cross is at the center of the oculus reminding us that Christ and his sacrifice for us and salvation bought on the cross should be ever-present and central in our lives.

To the right of the cross is the second symbol, the Grapes on the Vine. Jesus said, "I am the Vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in Me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5, N.R.S.V.) As we focus on the Cross in the center, we find ourselves connected through the vine of Jesus himself. If we can live in him and let Jesus live in us, we will bear fruit for God.

To the left of the cross is the third symbol which is thought to be a Wild Rose. The rose is a powerful symbol of Messianic Hope, Love and our Lord himself. Combined with the Cross and Grapes on the vine this becomes a striking symbol calling us to truly put our hope and faith in the Messiah, savior of the world, Jesus Christ. The pink hand-painted petals are representative of the love Christ has for us and the green stem and leaves remind us of the everlasting newness of life we can find through our Hope in God.

I end by giving thanks for the Craigsville Rebekah Lodge No. 49 who chose to present the gift of this window to St. Luke's United Methodist Church. We are reminded through this presentation of the importance of comm"UNITY" and that the church can and should be at the center of it all. The tri-arching green glass reminds us of the Triune God and the gift of eternal life. We are reminded by the red ring of our salvation bought for us by the sacrifice of Jesus as he died for us. We pray to be reunited one day with all of God's saints who have passed from this world and are rejoicing in the throne room of God.

May God bless and keep you along the way, and shine his colorful light all around you!


(Much of the information on the symbolism in this blog was taken and adapted from the book "Church Symbolism, An Explanation of the More Important Symbols of the Old and New Testament, The Primitive, The Medieval and the Modern Church," by F. R. Webber, Copyright 1938, J.H. Hansen, The Central Lithograph Co., Cleveland, OH)

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