Our Church Art: Part 1 - Large Stained Glass Windows
Churches have long been Patrons of the Arts, and Christ Lutheran Church, NALC is no exception. Here are some of the unique works of art on display at Church Lutheran for the Glory of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior:
Stained-Glass Windows: Our traditional style Stained-Glass Windows were originally designed for our first sanctuary, built in 1958, which is now Luther Hall. The windows were incorporated into the design of the new Sanctuary when it was constructed in 1975. These windows tell the Life of Jesus Christ.
Nativity Window – This window showing the Birth of Jesus Christ hangs overhead in the Narthex visible from the southeast doors to the church building. Mary, the mother of Jesus and her husband St. Joseph welcome the local shepherds have come to adore the newborn King of the Jews who is wrapped in swaddling clothes and lays in a manger or feeding trough. The family had to stay in the animal shelter as there was no room in the local inn due to the large crowds arriving for the Roman census. Christ was born in the town of Bethlehem, which means House of Bread in Hebrew. Jesus Christ is truly the Bread of Life. St. Luke tells us the story of the long-awaited birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2. The Star sent by God to lead people to the birthplace of Jesus is shown in the sky above, and a halo or nimbus encircles each the heads of the Holy Family. The halo of Jesus includes red bars which represent the Cross he will one day bear for the sins of the world. Artists have long used the halo or nimbus to represent Christ and the Saints in various artwork, but they are just symbols to show which figures represent specific people from the Bible.
Jesus Teaches the Elders in the Temple at Age 12 Window – This window tells the story of when Jesus stayed behind after a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover with his parents and extended family. Mary and Joseph were upset when they could not find Him among his relatives on the journey home and returned to Jerusalem to discover Jesus had remained in the Jewish Temple to explain Biblical prophecies to the elders. Jesus was only 12 years old at that time and St. Luke’s Gospel tells us how Jesus had to return to Nazareth with his parents because his time had not yet come for public ministry.
“Jesus Christ Welcomes the Children” Window – This window is from the Gospel story recorded in Matthew 19:14, where Jesus tells the crowds: “Suffer the little children to come unto Me. Jesus Christ welcomes all people, no matter what their age, race, where they are from or what their occupation.
“Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd” Window – Jesus Christ takes care of all His people like a good shepherd takes care of his flock. The story of the Good Shepherd is recorded in the Bible in the Gospel of John, Chapter 10, Verses 11-18 where Jesus states: “I AM the Good Shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me – Just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. I lie down My life for My sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this fold and I must bring them also. They too will listen to My voice and there will be one flock and One Shepherd.” This Bible verse fulfills the prophecy in Psalm 23 from the King David in the Old Testament “The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul…”
“Jesus Prays in the Garden of Gethsemane” Window – represents the night of Jesus Last Supper, when after eating and giving his Church the gift of Holy Communion, takes three of his disciples, Peter, James and John to the local Garden of Gethsemane to pray as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 26:36-45. Jesus is God and Man, and His human nature needed comfort from the Father before undertaking the events of Good Friday when He would suffer and die for the sins of all humans. This beautiful window located on the west side of the Sanctuary near the Pulpit, and can be easily viewed during church services.
Jesus Christ Crucified Windows – This window, which is on the east side of the altar, reminds us of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ Our Savior on the Cross at Calvary. In St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans 3:23, we read “For All Have Sinned and Fall Short of the Glory of God”. However, we also read in the Gospel of John 3:16-17, “For God So Loved the World He Gave Us His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall have life everylasting.” Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of Isaiah 52:13-53:12, with his death on the Cross. St. Matthew tells us the story of the Crucifixion in the Gospel of Matthew 27:32-56.
Jesus Christ Resurrection Window – shows Jesus Christ rising from the tomb on the very first Easter Sunday, surprizing the soldiers there to guard the tomb from tomb raiders. The Resurrection story, told in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 28:2-7, proves Christ is God as well as man, and that death has no power over him. He has overcome death and the devil and saved us from our sins. His wounds are still clearly visible in this artist’s depiction of the first Easter morning. The Resurrection of Jesus was predicted many times in the Holy Bible, especially by Christ Himself. In the Gospel of John 11:25-26, Jesus Christ states: “I AM the Resurrection and the Life. Anyone who believes in Me shall live, even tho he dies. Everyone who lives in Me and believes in Me shall never die.” Jesus predicts his Resurrection also in John 12: 23-26. St. Paul’s Epistles also speak of the Resurrection of Christ. St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans Chapter 6:8-11 and Romans Chapter 10:9. The Gospel of Mark 16:5 tells the Resurrection story and in the Gospel of Luke 24:38-40, Jesus shows his Apostles he is not a ghost but a real Resurrected Person with a Living Body.
Jesus Christ Ascends into Heaven” Window – is located on the west wall of the Sanctuary. It represents Jesus returning to Heaven 40 days after His Resurrection, after multiple appearances to his Apostles, Disciples and followers at which time he prove to the them He was really God and Man. Jesus ascended into Heaven through a cloud with a Promise to Return again, as related by St. Luke in the Holy Bible in the Book of Acts, Chapter One and foretold in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 24.