The windows in our church sanctuary contain 54 different Christian symbols. When you study our windows one at a time you find some of the oldest and best known of all Christian symbols. But if you study them as a group you find that they tell the entire story of the world, beginning with creation and ending with the triumph of the Gospel over all the world.
The large window in the front of the building is the best place to start because it gives us two special views of God. The lower section of the window shows God as He was known to the Old Testament People. He was great and mighty and far above the people. The Burning Bush represents the call of Moses to be a prophet and leader. God did most of His talking to the people through His prophets.
The Ten Commandments or the Law were given in order that the people would know how God wanted them to live.
The Ark of the Covenant was the symbol of God’s presence with his people.
The Top Section of the window shows God as we know Him today. In the center is the great Magnus Dei or the Hand of God. It represents God the Father, the great creator and ruler of all.
The Agnus Dei or Lamb of God is the symbol for Jesus the Son. It was so hard for us to relate to God just as the great Father. And it was impossible for us to understand and keep all of His laws. So He came to live with us as a man, to show us how to live, and to show us how much he loves us by dying for our sins. He never wants us to forget His love for us, so He continues to live with us everyday through His SPIRIT.
The Dove is the symbol of His Spirit’s presence in the World. We don’t have to have a prophet or a priest or anyone else to tell us about God now, because He has shown himself to each one of us.
The Old Testament Story
This first window gets the whole story started and shows how God did everything right and how we did most everything wrong.
CREATION This first symbol shows God at work creating the world. Notice the Magnus Dei (the hand of God shown in the large front window) it is here as part of the creation symbol.
The TREE OF KNOWLEDGE is the symbol for the Fall of Man. It was here in God’s perfect world that we first decided that we wanted to have things our own way.
THE ARK is one of the oldest symbols for God’s very special love for us. It reminds us that God has always been willing to help us start all over again. He has never left us without any hope of being able to rebuild our relationship with him.
The RAINBOW is the last symbol in this first window. It reminds us of God’s promise never to destroy the world again by a flood.
Window # 2
This 2nd window is called the window of the Patriarchs and is has the symbols for four of the greatest Old Testament leaders.
The KNIFE is for Abraham. God first made His covenant with him. You remember how Abraham trusted God enough to even give his own son as sacrifice to God.
The LADDER belongs to Jacob who did some pretty sneaky and mean things in his life. Yet God didn’t throw him away, instead He carried His promise on to Jacob and taught him to trust and obey Him.
The HARP is for David the King. He was the greatest king to ever rule the nation of Israel. God blessed David and used him in very special ways all of his life.
The TEMPLE is the last symbol in this window, and it is for Solomon, David’s son who became the King. Because he asked God for wisdom to rule his people as God would have them to live, God made him the wisest, most intelligent man who ever lived. God also gave him the very special task of building the great Temple.
This window is called Israel in Bondage and it backs up several hundred years before David and Solomon.
The BRICKS AND WHIP are the symbols for slavery. God’s people were slaves in Egypt for 400 years. During all these hard years God had not forgotten his people. He was changing Jacob’s little family of 12 brothers into a mighty nation of thousands and thousands of people who had learned how to work hard, and who had been trained in all the skills they would need to build their own nation.
The BASKET IN THE BULLRUSHES is the symbol for baby Moses, the one God was sending to lead his people out of slavery.
The STAFF The STAFF AND THE SERPENT stand for all of the miracles and wonders that God did through Moses before the Pharaoh. Still Pharaoh would not let the people go until God sent death to all the first born in the whole land of Egypt. AND THE SERPENT stand for all of the miracles and wonders that God did through Moses before the Pharaoh. Still Pharaoh would not let the people go until God sent death to all the first born in the whole land of Egypt.
The DOOR POSTS covered with blood are the symbol for the Passover, the night God delivered His people and protected them from death.
This is the window of Exodus. It covers a little more than 40 years of Israel’s history and it shows how God took care of his people on their journey back to the Promised Land.
The PILLAR CLOUD was their guide all of the time. It was a fire at night and a cloud during the daytime. It moved along before them to lead the way.
The small WAFER stands for the manna God sent to feed the people.
It goes along with the WATER GUSHING FROM THE ROCK as symbols for God’s constant care and grace.
The GRAPES ON A STAFF are the final symbol in this window, and they stand for the entry into the Promised Land. The land was rich and filled with plenty to eat, just as God had promised.
This window is called the Time of Judges, and it shows four of the men whom God used to lead his people during the early years in the Promised Land.
The BOWL AND FLEECE are for Gideon who led his little army of 300 men to conquer the entire army of Midian.
The SACRIFICIAL ALTAR is for Jephthah, and it reminds us how dangerous it is to make foolish promises to God which he does not ask us to make. God had called Jephthah to lead the war against the Ammonites. He must have thought God needed a little bribe to keep his promise, so he said he would sacrifice the first person who came out to meet him if God would help him win the battle. Well, he won the battle—God was already going to help him do that anyway—and when he came home in victory, the first person who came to meet him was his only daughter.
The GATES OF GAZA are the symbol for perhaps the best known of all the judges, Samson, the man to whom God gave great physical strength. Samson did not take care of the gifts God gave him, and it cost him his eyesight and eventually his own life.
The SWORD OF POWER belongs to the last Judge Samuel. He ruled Israel, not with the spear of the sword but with the great truth of God. It was Samuel who anointed the first King of Israel and who became the first of the great prophets to tell the Kings what God expected of them and the nation.
This last window on the left side also concludes the story of the Old Testament. It covers the years of Israel’s decline and fall as a great nation. The people who are symbolized in this window remind us the God never leaves his people, even when they disobey him and have to suffer for their sins.
The TONGS AND BURNING COAL are the symbols for Isaiah the prophet. Isaiah, probably more than any other prophet understood the great plan God had for saving all of his people He told us so much about the Messiah who would come, and the things that would happen to him.
The STONE is for Jeremiah, who lived and ministered to the people through some of the worst years in their history. He never stopped believing that God still cared for his people.
The LIONS belong to Daniel who stayed faithful to God even when doing so meant great danger for himself.
The FOUR Horns are symbols for Zechariah, the prophet who saw that God was about to deliver his people and bring the nation back to its homeland.
The NEW Testament Story
This is the rear window on the left side of the sanctuary and it begins the New Testament story. This window is called The Birth of Jesus.
The SCROLL symbolizes the words of the prophets concerning Jesus. It also stands for the Roman decree which brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where God had planned for Jesus to be born. This written record is proof that everything God planned was right on schedule, and that He had never left his people.
The MANGER is the symbol for Jesus birth. Hovered above the manger is the Chi Rho. It is one of the Greek monograms which stands for Jesus.
The STAR marked the place where the baby Jesus was born and it guided the wise men to him.
The THREE TREASURES were the gifts brought by wise men, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh
This window is called The Childhood of Jesus and it begins with
PYRAMIDS AND PALMS notice the Chi Rho symbol again. It means Jesus. This symbol stands for the flight into Egypt which Joseph and Mary had to make in order to keep King Herod from killing Jesus.
The DOVES IN THE BASKET represent the presentation of baby Jesus in the Temple. It was during this visit that Simeone and Anna saw the baby. The two doves are the sacrifice made by poor people.
The SQUARE is a symbol for the years Jesus grew up under his parents care. The Bible says almost nothing about these years, but Joseph was a carpenter, so Jesus learned this trade as he grew and learned from his parents.
The LAMP OF KNOWLEDGE is for Jesus’ visit to the Temple when he was 12 years old. It was on this trip that the teachers in the temple were so amazed at Jesus’ wisdom and understanding.
This window is called the Ministry of Christ.
The first symbol stands for his Baptism which marks the beginning of his ministry. Notice the dove and the cross and the water, all of these are symbols in themselves, but here they are used in combination.
The GRAPE VINE is encircled with a banner that reads: I am the vine, Ye are the branches. This symbol stands for Jesus’ teaching ministry.
The CROSS POTENT is one of many, many different styles of crosses. All crosses are symbols of Christ’s death and suffering, as well as symbols for the Christian faith. This particular cross also is a symbol of healing, and so it stands for Jesus’ care and ministry to sick and hurting people.
The FOUNTAIN OF WATER This last symbol in the Ministry of Christ window is the most abstract symbol in the sanctuary. It represents a Fountain of Water, and as such stands for salvation.
This window is called The Passion of Jesus and it stands for some of the events in the last days of Jesus life.
The CUP AND CROSS are a symbol of the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed that “This cup be removed, nevertheless not thy will, but thine be done.”
The BAG OF MONEY is a symbol of the betrayal of Jesus. Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
The CROWN OF THORNS AND NAILS are symbols of the terrible suffering which Jesus endured for our sins.
The CROSS is always a symbol for crucifixion.
This window is called Resurrection.
The BURIAL CLOTH is a symbol of death. The body of Jesus was wrapped in a cloth in preparation for burial.
The TOMB also symbolizes death and burial, notice however, that this tomb is open. It contains no body or it would be covered by a stone.
The PHOENIX is one of many pagan or secular symbols which has been adopted by the church as a Christian Symbol. The phoenix is a legendary bird which supposedly lived a long life then burst into flames, only to rise again from the smoke and ashes to live another life. It has become one of the major symbols of the resurrection
The FIERY CHARIOT is a symbol of the ascension. It comes from the story of Elijah who ascended into heaven in a chariot of fire.
This window is called The Church and it moves us from the time of Christ’s ascension to the end of time.
The LIGHT OF THE WORLD stands for the Great Commission, Jesus final instructions to his followers. We are all to be busy about telling the world about Jesus until he comes again.
The DOVE AND FLAMES are symbols of Pentecost, when Christ’s spirit came to give us the power to do His will, and to be our ever present companion until Jesus returns.
The SHIP is a double symbol. It stands for the work of Paul and other early missionaries. But it also stands for the church on its mission to all the world.
The CROSS AND ORB is the triumphant symbol of Christ’s victory over all the world. He has promised that when all men have heard the Gospel preached that He will return in triumph to reign forever and ever.