Grace Lutheran's Stained Glass
Photos of our windows and a little on their meaning

The Holy Bible, God's Word.  Below it is a depiction of the Ten Commandments, as they were originally given on two tablets of stone.  The first tablet (table) contains the three commands which indicate our relationship to God (vertical) and the second those which tell us how to live with our neighbor (horizontal).

 

Here is depicted the cross, along with the spear used to pierce Jesus' side after he died, along with the pole used to offer him a drink when he cried, "I thirst".  Also the abbreviation "INRI", which stands for the Latin words, "Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum" or  "Jesus Christ King of Jews".  Below and to the right is a cross with loaves of bread, indicating Jesus is the Bread of Life, who feeds and sustains us with his very self.

One of the great Old Testament foreshadowings of Christ is found in Numbers 21, where disobedient Israelites are plagued by venomous snakes.  God instructs Moses to make a snake from bronze and place it on a pole, and that all who looked to it would live.  This points forward to Christ, on his cross, who became sin for us to take sin's punishments there.  And as we look to him and to his cross, we too live.

"We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain," Hebrews 6:19

The anchor is a popular Christian symbol for hope.  Here the fish is perhaps also suggestive of Christ, as the Greek word for fish, "Ichthys" is an acronym for "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior".  It may also remind us of Jesus' disciples who were fishermen and that as Christians, we are called to be "fishers of men".

Noah's Ark, of course, in which God saved believing Noah and his family, eight souls in all, from the flood.  The dove of peace which brought Noah news of the flood's recession is also depicted.  The flood reminds us of God delivering his people through disaster, is a symbol of the church itsel, just as Baptism is prefigured by the floodwaters, as sin and wickedness are washed away in the cleansing waters.

The symbol for the Apostle John (Son of Zebedee), who, according to legend, drank poison and was not harmed.

The lampstand, which, from the book of Revelation is a symbol of the church of God, gathered before his throne.  "As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches." (Rev. 1:20)

Christ is our rock (1 Cor. 10:4) amidst the stormy waters of life, and "on this rock" (this confession of him as Christ) "I will build my church" he told St. Peter (Matt. 16:18).  Another fisherman apostle was St. Simon the Zealot, whose symbol of fish and book is pictured here.

The crown of thorns, which depict's Christ's passion and suffering for us, again with the INRI abbreviation (see above).  Also, the "Sun of Righteousness", another name for Christ, with the "IHC" which stands for the Latin, "Jesus Christ, Savior"

The beehive is a slightly unusual symbol for the church, which works together for the common goal of bringing not honey, but the sweet message of the Gospel to all people.  Below is the symbol of the apostle St. Matthais, who was Chosen to take the place of Judas. He is symbolized by an open Bible and double bladed battle-axe, because he is said to have been beheaded after his missionary work.

Fruit is a rich symbol in Christianity, both as representation of good works, i.e. "the fruits of faith" and also in pointing to the fruit of the vine, wine, which is used in the holy Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood.

Here a basic symbol for Holy Communion, the chalice and host.

 Christ is our king, and often the cross is shown with a crown, as here.  The sailboat is a symbol of the apostle St. Jude, a fisherman and missionary.

 The tools of a carpenter perhaps remind us of our Lord's human nature, and the vocation of his step-father Joseph.   The haystack reminds us of that the "harvest is plentiful" for God's kingdom, though the "workers are few".

 

These windows over our altar are smaller and harder to see, but the center one is of Luther's seal, which is explained here.  The one on the right depicts God as our "Mighty Fortress" (also a favorite Lutheran hymn based on Psalm 46) and the left window shows trumpets of praise and the words "Praise the Lord".