Stained Glass Windows

The stained glass in St. John's sanctuary was made in 1970. The sun's light causes the glass to glow each morning and evening when the sun is rising in the east and setting in the west. Each windows has a picture and a Bible verse relating the the picture. Below is each panel of those windows and the explanations of the pictures.

Panel 1

Window 1 - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1. In this picture we see the creation of the world by God speaking. The triangle represents that God is three persons in one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The picture shows all the creation that is mentioned in Genesis: Sun, moon and stars, plants and animals on the land, fish in the sea and birds in the air, and man, Adam.

Window 2 - "In Adam all die, in Christ all may live." 1 Corinthians 15:22. This picture shows the fall of man into sin. Adam and Eve have eaten from the forbidden fruit in Eden and are therefore cast out of the garden. The bottom shows Satan disguised as a serpent who led them into sin. After being cast out, God sent an angel with a flaming sword to guard the garden so no one may enter it again, for it was made only for sinless humans.

Window 3 - "What the Lord has spoken we will do." Exodus 19:8. This image depicts the relationship between God and Israel and uses the example of Moses and the Ten Commandments to do it. While Moses was on Mount Sinai talking to God, the people of Israel became impatient and wanted to worship Yahweh (the God who brought them out of Egypt) their own way. So Aaron, Moses' brother, made them a golden calf as the image of Yahweh, that they might worship him through this image. This angered God who desired to pour out his wrath upon them (lightning). Moses pleaded with God and instead brought the people new Laws from God that they might obey and follow God correctly once more.

Window 4 - "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him." Isaiah 11:2. Here we see combination of all the Old Testament prophecies concerning Jesus. The INRI stands for Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews (by taking the first letters of the Greek words). Below Jesus we see a crown, saying that Jesus will be king, next to the star of David, meaning that Jesus will come from the line of King David. Jesus himself is already wearing a crown, meaning that he is king even before he comes. In the bottom we see other prophecies of the messiah: that he will be the lamb of God, that he will suffer (thorns), and that he will be the word of God made flesh.

Panel 2

Window 1 - “To you is born a savior… Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11. This picture shows the birth of Christ. We see the manger scene where Jesus is born in a manger as ox and cattle look onward. Joseph, dressed in purple to represent he is royalty from the line of David, and Mary stand over Jesus and watch. The star above shines down over the place where Jesus laid. At the bottom we see the guests visiting Jesus: The shepherds whom the angels spoke to and the three magi depicted by crowns (as they were at one point thought to be three kings, as the old song mistakenly says).

Window 2 - “I have seen your salvation.” Luke 2:30. Here Simeon stands in the temple holding baby Jesus when he was only eight days old. This was the time for circumcision and dedication to God, therefore Mary and Joseph brought him. The triangle up top shows that Jesus is being dedicated to the same God of the Old Testament. The doves in the cage are what people would sacrifice when dedicating a child to God. The incense at the bottom is what would be lit and swung during the presentation. Note: While Jesus did usher in a “new” religion, the story of Jesus being dedicated in the Jewish faith reminds us that Jesus actually completed the Jewish faith, and that’s what Christianity is: the Jewish faith fulfilled by Jesus. So here we see him following Jewish customs, because that’s what God set up for his people and Jesus is a part of those people.

Window 3 - “I must be about my Father’s business.” Luke 2:49. When Jesus was twelve years old, Mary and Joseph took him to Jerusalem for the Passover feast. They lost Jesus because Jesus stayed behind in the Temple (David’s star and the Menorah first set up by Moses in the picture reminds us this is the Temple in Jerusalem) to listen to the Jewish teachers and ask questions.

Window 4 - “Worship and serve the Lord only.” Luke 4:8. The final windows in this panel depicts the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness by Satan (dressed in black). We see the high point of the temple (right) where Jesus was told to jump and the angel (top) that would save him. We see the bread Jesus was supposed to make from the stones (bottom). We see the crown (left) over the world, what Satan offered Jesus if he bowed down to him. But Jesus looked to heaven and the will of the Father and resisted the temptations.

Panel 3

Window 1 - “My sheep hear my voice.” John 10:27. Here Jesus speaks of himself as a shepherd and God’s people his sheep. The triangle up top reminds us that Jesus is divine, part of the Trinity, therefore God’s people are his people. The pastures and stream point us back to Psalm 23, where David compared God to a shepherd. The people at the bottom are the sheep, the followers.

Window 2 - “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19. Jesus here calls his first disciples. First he called Peter and Andrew (middle), brothers who are casting their nets into the sea, then he calls James and John (top), brothers who are mending their nets in their boat. The anchor that hands from Peter and Andrew’s boat is the Bible, remind us that as followers of Christ we are anchored in his Word.

Window 3 - “Whatever he tells you, do it.” John 2:5. This is the first miracle of Jesus: the changing of water into wine at the wedding of Cana. Jesus is told by his mother (at the table) that the wine has run out (empty jugs). Jesus tells the servant to fill them with water, which he turns into wine. The master of the banquet (in purple) is astounded at the quality of the wine. Because of this miracle the dignity of the married couple (above the master of the banquet) is saved.

Window 4 - “Your faith has saved you.” Luke 7:50. At the house of a Pharisee, Jesus dines. During the dinner, a sinful woman comes before him, pours ointment on his feet, and washed them with her hair. The heart at the bottom of the picture reminds us that Jesus has a heart (has come) for the lost and broken, not the socially well off (like the Pharisees).

Panel 4

Window 1 - “You must be born again.” John 3:7. This picture is of Nicodemus, a pharisee, before Jesus. He asks Jesus how to be saved and Jesus tells him he must be born again, this time of the Spirit (which the flame represents; John the Baptism pairs the Spirit with fire). The Bible and Chi Rho (P with the X in it; The first two letters of Christ in Greek) remind us that it is only through Christ that one is born again.

Window 2 - “Lord, it is good for us to be here.” Matthew 17:4. This is the transfiguration of Jesus on a high mountain, where he is glorified by God the Father (triangle). Next to him are Moses and Elijah, who, like John the Baptist, were prophets who prepared the way for Jesus. By the words of the verse, we see keys, shells, and a cup. This represents the keys of the kingdom (the power to forgive and withhold forgiveness), baptism (in which water was poured from a shell), and the Lord’s Supper (cup = wine). Around the time of the transfiguration, Jesus commanded his disciples to partake of these things and give them to others.

Panel 5

Window 1 - “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 21:9, Psalm 118:26. This is the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. People lay cloaks and palm branches (sign of royalty) before Jesus as they believe him to be their earthly king. Again we are reminded that Jesus is from the line of David (David’s star in the bottom) and that he is royalty (crown).

Window 2 - “You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14. This window depicts Jesus famous “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5. Here many people listen while Jesus preaches on a small mountain concerning the fulfillment of the Jewish faith. The Alpha and Omega (Greek letters in the top left) remind us that Jesus is the beginning and the end of all faith. The flame coming from the lamp reminds us that it is only through the Spirit that we can have this faith.

Panel 6

Window 1 - “This is my body… this is my blood.” Matthew 26:26, 28. This picture shows the Last Supper. This is where Jesus prophecies that he must die (lamb upon the altar in upper right). The supper consists of bread and wine (bottom left) which Jesus says is his body and blood. In the back (behind Jesus) we see Judas sneaking out after Jesus has exposed him.

Window 2 - “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.” Luke 22:42. Here Jesus stands in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives (where Jesus often met his disciples) praying to God the Father. The disciples sleep (bottom) while an angel appeared (top) to give him strength while he prayed. On the left we see Judas coming with the officials to betray and arrest Jesus.

Window 3 - “Suffered under Pontius Pilate.” Excerpt from the Apostles’ Creed, Matthew 27:11-26. This window shows all of the suffering between the time of Jesus’ capture in the garden and the cross. He stands before Pilate (a servant of Caesar, whose face is on the chair), who questioned him and had him flogged (bottom left). He washed his hands of the people’s choice to kill Jesus. He stands in a purple robe and crown of thorns (which Herod used to mock him as “royalty”). The crown above Jesus shows that he is true king, despite what the people thought of him.

Window 4 - “For God so loved the world…” John 3:16. We see Jesus hanging on the cross and all that happened to him during that time. The INRI above him means “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” which Pilate wrote because that’s who Jesus said he was. On the left we see the centurion who stuck a spear in Jesus’ side and who also proclaimed him as the Son of God when he died. Above we see the sun disappearing behind the cloud, representing when the world went dark. To the right of Jesus is his mother, Mary, and John, whom he told to take Mary as his mother. Below we see two more crosses, representing the thieves on the cross, one who mocked and one who believed. At the bottom we see the tomb where Jesus was laid.

Panel 7

Window 1 - “He arose again from the dead.” 1 Corinthians 15:4. Here we see Jesus risen from the dead, waving the banner of victory over sin, death, and the devil. We see the three crosses behind him, reminding us that he has defeated death not only for himself, but others (the thief on the cross being the very first). Below him is the Roman guard, who fell asleep guarding the tomb. The SPQR we see twice (to the left of Jesus and on the guard’s staff) means “the senate and people of Rome” from Latin. This reminds us that Jesus is greater than any nation, no matter how great (of which Rome was the greatest at that time). The flower in the bottom left represents the garden in which Jesus appeared before Mary.

Window 2 - “He ascended into heaven.” Excerpt from the Apostles’ Creed, Luke 24:51. Here Jesus ascends into heaven (which to the disciples was the sky and stars) before the eyes of his disciples. Before he leaves he gives them his spirit (flame in the bottom right) and his Word to share with the world.

Window 3 - “He shall come to judge…” Excerpt from the Apostles’ Creed, 2 Timothy 4:1. This window depicts Jesus as the judge of the world when he returns. We see the angels (left) who are his helpers on the day of judgement. We see the scales (below Jesus) to represent justice. At the bottom we see the wheat and the chaff (which are representation of believers and non-believers, just like the sheep and goats). Below Jesus are red fires, which represent hell, and above is a beam of light, representing heaven.

Window 4 - “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” Excerpt from the Apostles’ Creed, Acts 2. This picture shows the day of Pentecost. The disciples gathered and the Holy Spirit (dove), in tongues of fire, descended upon them that they might speak all the languages of the earth, so that they might share the Gospel (Bible in bottom right) in every language.

Panel 8

Window 1 - “Be faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10. This image shows the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr of Christianity. While he is being stoned, he looks toward heaven and sees a crown of life. This crown was given to him by the death and resurrection of Jesus, which the Chi Rho and crown of thorns at the bottom reminds us of. To his upper left we see Saul, before conversion, guarding the cloaks of those stoning and looking onward as Stephen dies. 

Window 2 - “By grace are you saved, through faith.” Ephesians 2:8, “The sword of the Spirit.” Ephesians 6:17. This picture is a summary of the life of Paul. He is seen in brown, standing next to Jesus to represent that Paul is speaking the Words of Jesus. The beam of light coming from heaven represents his conversion on the road to Damascus, where he was blinded. To the right is one of the many synagogues Paul went to, preaching the message of Jesus. At the bottom we see IHS, which are the first three letters of Jesus in Greek, reminding us that the the faith which saves us is only in Jesus. Finally, in the top right we see the verse and picture of the sword of the Spirit. This is the metaphor Paul used for preaching the Gospel. The Spirit, like a sword, helps the Gospel of Jesus cut straight to the heart of the hearers.

Window 3 - “Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide.” Words of Luther and the Lutheran Faith. “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:25, Isaiah 40:8. This image shows Luther, the reformer. The three “sola” statements mean “scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone”. These are the three things Christianity stands on. Our salvation is by grace through faith, as Paul spoke in Ephesians. Our knowledge comes from Scripture alone. By focusing on these three things will the Church of God endure. We see Luther’s rose in the middle. The rose is broken down like this: the black cross in the middle reminds us of Jesus’ death for our sins; this stands in the middle of a red heart which reminds us that because of Jesus’ death, by faith our hearts are not corrupt; surrounding this heart is the white rose which represents purity, holiness, which we are made by the Spirit in Jesus; around the rose is a gold ring, which represents heaven and eternity, which we will spend with Jesus and which will be the most valuable of all (gold). Luther looks to Jesus, who is the center of his faith and the reason he desires to reform the Church. Below Luther stands the three creeds: Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian. Also there stands the Augsburg confession, written in 1530 against the Catholic church, and the Book of Concord, finished in 1580, outlining the Lutheran faith.

Window 4 - “Worship him in Spirit and in truth.” John 4:24. The final frame in this panel and the whole collection of stained glass is a picture of us, the Church today. We see an acolyte, a choir member, and a family standing before the altar of God (of which the focus is the cross, Jesus). To it’s left is the baptismal font; to it’s right the bread and wine of communion. Above the altar sits the triune God: the lamb on his throne (Jesus, Revelation), the dove (Holy Spirit, baptism of Jesus), and the hand of God (the Father). Below the family and at the bottom left stand a harp and organ, representing the different ways we worship God with music. At the bottom we see Noah’s ark floating on the water, reminding us that God keeps his promises to his people, and all we have promised in Jesus is assured.