Christian Symbolism In Our Church

Whether you've attended the Botkins United Methodist Church all your life or are just visiting for the first time your eyes are sure to be entertained by the visual beauty of the stained glass windows.  As sunlight streams through the windows, prisms of colors twinkle across the floors and walls for wandering eyes to enjoy.  But there is also a historic component to the pictures that they display.  Read below to learn more.  

The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.  The dove is the only shape ever given to the Holy Spirit.  It is one of the few symbols that has retained both its appearance and its meaning from the beginning of Christianity to the present day.  The dove appeared at Jesus' baptism where it descended from Heaven and rested upon Him (John 1:32).  Doves also symbolize purity, restoration and peace.  This is demonstrated in the story of Noah, when the dove brought back an olive branch, showing God's renewed peace towards humanity (Genesis 8).  



The Grapes- A bunch of grapes signifies the sacrament of the Holy Communion, and is  most appropriately found around the Communion table.  

The Lily- Symbol of Easter and immortality.  The bulb decays in the ground, yet from it new life is released.  

Sacred Monograms
IHS or IHC- The letters are formed from the Greek word (IHCOYC) for Jesus. As knowledge of Greek became rare, the Greek C was changed to a Latin S, so the abbreviation was often IHS instead of IHC. Simply say IHS means Jesus.

 The Anchor Cross- A cross in the form of an anchor.  It symbolizes hope and stability in Jesus.  The anchor cross is an ancient Christian symbol, dating back to the 2nd century.  It was frequently used in catacombs to decorate the tombs of the dead.  Because it was illegal to practice Christianity in the Roman Empire, symbols used in the catacombs were frequently of common objects (anchor, shepherd, dove, etc.) that could hold double meanings.  In this way the symbol would not look blatantly Christian, concealing its Christian meaning from all but the informed few.  

The Crown and Cross- These symbolize the reward of the faithful in the life after death to those who believe in the crucified Savior.  "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee the Crown of Life."  (Rev. 2:10)

The flag signifies Christianity in its entirety-the faith, worship, tradition, responsibilities, and all of its other blessings.  The cross on the flag symbolizes the Christian religion, God's love for man exemplified in Jesus' life and death, and the promise of eternal life.  The blue background of the cross speaks of the faithfulness and sincerity of the Savior, who was obedient unto death.  The white portion of the flag is symbolic of purity, innocence, and peace.  The white color also bears witness to the purity and sinlessness of the Founder of the faith, and man's joy in contemplating God's initiative in redeeming the world.