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Stained Glass of the Sanctuary

Responding to a “pew to pulpit” question:

People are fascinated by the beautiful stained glass windows in our sanctuary.

Stained glass windows in sanctuary - Tuskawilla Presbyterian Church

Photo by Jerry D. Clement

The first stained glass window installed in our sanctuary was made in 1995 and is located directly behind where the choir sits during the 11 a.m. service and the band plays during the 9 a.m. service.

At the top of the window, you can see a hand, representing the hand of God. That hand has just released a dove of peace to come to earth. Below that is wheat in an array like the sun.

In the Presbyterian Church, we celebrate two sacraments: the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. In the Lord’s Supper, we consume bread and juice. Wheat is used to make bread.

Below the wheat is an array of vines, depicting Christ’s assertion that He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5). Also, grapes grow on vines and are used to make juice (or wine) that we consume as part of the Lord’s Supper.

The window on the north side of the sanctuary, facing the administration building, has an Omega (Greek symbol) at the top. This symbol signifies that Christ is the head of the church, leading us, guiding us, commissioning us and teaching us. Everything starts with Christ, and our whole mission and meaning should be Christ-driven.

Below the Omega is the logo for the Presbyterian Church (USA) on a globe. This window is known as the Great Commission window, and the remaining images represent that. The journey starts in the city of Bethlehem, the place of Christ’s birth. Following the road, we pass a Native American adobe home, an igloo, and travel along the Great Wall of China, which brings us past Chinese Sampan boats and the Sphinx of Egypt.

The road eventually passes beside a forest and a wheat farm and then curves past the empty tomb where Jesus rose from the grave and completes at this contemporary city, representing our current condition and responsibility of being a church.

These are the places that we all should go to baptize others in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These are some of the places the first disciples went, and of course, where Christ was born. Ultimately, it reminds us of Christ’s resurrection, and our responsibility and action to continue carrying on this Christly road as Christ’s disciples, called during the Great Commission.

The third window on the south side of the sanctuary facing Aloma Ave. is the Community Window. At the top is a star-studded sky over a giant sunflower. Around the sunflower are six beautiful depictions of angels representing the heavenly hosts who worship God and guard the world. In the center of them all is the Light of Christ.

The circular current that swirls around this flower is called the circle of grace. It’s never-ending. In the water are fish, symbolizing that everyone is in need of salvation and God’s circle of grace.

Down the stream are more fish and three boats which represent the barques of Peter and the ark of salvation. Then we have a berry-laden vine, covering the earth and producing fruit to provide for the world.

I invite you to reflect on the beauty and meaning of these windows and use them to find different ways that God might be calling to you.

When you are at home, at work, or enjoying a vacation, think of one of these windows and how they call us to action in the world, to love one another, to love God and to appreciate the blessings we have in life.

 

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One Response to Stained Glass of the Sanctuary

  1. Sue Peterson August 11, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

    Thank you, Chris, for sharing the messages of the stained glass windows that grace our sanctuary. Another focus for meditation as we prepare to worship God revealed in Jesus the Christ.