I have lately developed the habit of looking at the stained glass windows in the different churches that I visit. There is a great variety of them, and I am amazed at the different biblical scenes and symbols which are displayed in the various places of worship: the burning bush, a dove, and a harp — just to mention a few. There are also large windows with various pictures of Jesus and His disciples. Most of these are fairly old and have been in these churches for many years.
In 1994 in Meaford, we built a new church building, and we brought three windows from the 1938 church and installed them in an inside wall with lights behind them. But we also wanted to install a new stained glass window in the front of the sanctuary where there was a large window to be used for the installation of a picture window at a later date.
In 1998, we contacted Sue Obata, an artist, who came from Toronto to have a look. Sometime later, she presented us with a drawing of what she thought would be an appropriate window for us. In her accompanying letter, she wrote:
With the cross as the focal point, the theme of "Love, Faith, and Hope" would be fitting. Faith, of course, is represented by the cross, and blue is the colour of the heavens. Green is the universal colour of nature, signifying hope. And love is an emotion that can be represented by warm colours, traditionally, often red and sometimes violet.
On our drive from Collingwood to Meaford, I enjoyed seeing a bit of Georgian Bay and decided to use some of this imagery with colours in the design. Thus the green became stylized boughs of evergreens. The base of the cross sits on the rocks by the shore. Over the water, the day breaks, bringing warmth and love.
The other symbolism is Christ the rock of our salvation. The symbol of Christ the rock suggests solidity and security as expressed in Psalm 18:2a – "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer" (KJV) and Psalm 95:1b – "Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation" (KJV). The cross atop the rock recalls for Christians that Christ became the sure basis of their faith by dying on Calvary's cross for our sins and thus gaining peace with God.
Now when we enter the sanctuary, we see the cross on the rocks, and we are reminded of the death of Jesus on the cross at Calvary and what that means to us here and now. We are again reminded that Jesus is the rock of our salvation, on which our faith is built, but we also remember those in whose memory this memorial window was dedicated — those who went before us, those who may have been part of this community of believers in years past, those who were near and dear to us, but who have now passed on — and every time we enter the sanctuary, we will think of them, too.
When you enter a sanctuary with such windows, look at them, study them, and see how God's Word is displayed in beautiful pictures.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for the artists who have created the wonderful biblical scenes in so many Christian churches in so many different places over the years. May we have the desire to look at them and see your Word displayed in such an artful way. We offer this prayer in Jesus' name. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "I Will Sing Of My Redeemer" (Lyrics)