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Lamp and Book SL,1a

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

St. Luke's Sanctuary Stained Glass Window SL,1a

This is one of the first windows that you see upon entering the sanctuary at St. Luke's United Methodist Church. It is across the sanctuary at the very back left and is designated for this journey as window SL,1a.

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 a beautiful golden lamp with a burning flame and The Cross Bottonnee atop top the lid. The Cross Bottonnee is a special cross that has a trefoil at the end of each arm therefore providing us a constant reminder of the Triune God. This lamp sits atop a blue book. The blue background reminds us of hope, sincerity and piety. The symbol of the lamp and the book is a symbol of Enlightenment and Knowledge. Through this journey we are called into by God, we seek to be enlightened and to gain knowledge that we might more perfectly live our lives for God's glory.

The symbol of the Lamp and Book, or Enlightenment and Knowledge, is an appropriate place to begin our Stained Glass Journey. I hope that through these next several days you not only take this journey with me, but learn and gain light for the path ahead.

I end by giving thanks for the life of H. M. Cutlip, and for the dedication and gift of this window by Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Russell. 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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