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Torch and Banner - SL,1b

St. Luke's Sanctuary Stained Glass WIndow SL,1b

This is the sister window at the back left of the sanctuary at St. Luke's United Methodist Church. It is across the sanctuary and the second from the back left. For this journey it is designated as window SL,1b.

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 a golden Torch with a burning flame and a banner with the words "THE LORD IS MY LIGHT" emblazoned on it. The Burning Torch is a symbol of Enlightenment, Zeal and the Gospel. The torch is being held high for all to see, reminding us that we too need to hold high the light of Christ in our lives that others might come to the light and know Christ. The blue background reminds us of hope, sincerity and piety. Zeal is defined as having great energy and enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective. We, like this torch burning brightly and held high, need to shine our enthusiasm into the hearts of others, proclaiming that the Lord truly is our light. The Gospel of Jesus will then truly shine as we continue on this holy journey.

I end by giving thanks for the gift of this window by Mr. and Mrs. F. O. Mays. The faith of these servants shines through to us as they remind us in their presentation that the pure in heart are blessed because they will get to see God. 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 today that our hearts might be pure and we might one day see God, face to face.

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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