The Life of Jesus in Stained Glass Part 1

 

Part One
Beginnings

 

Introduction  |   Scripture: Matthew 26:36; Matthew 3:13;
Matthew 26:20
Symbols & Images: Baptism in the Jordan, Gethsemane, Last Supper
The first stained glass window installed at the present location of First Lutheran was moved from the previous
building on 21st & A Streets. Scenes depicting three events from Jesus’ life (the baptism of Jesus, Jesus
praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Last Supper) are woven into an ornate floral backdrop and would
serve as the inspiration for the larger chronology to follow.
  The Annunciation   |   Scripture: Luke 1:26-38
Symbols & Images: Lilies
Mary hears the angel Gabriel announce the birth of Jesus.
Lilies are an ancient symbol of purity and have long been associated with the Virgin Mary and the Annunciation
at which the birth of Jesus was announced.
  The Nativity   |   Scripture: Luke 2:6-7; Song of Solomon 2:1
Symbols & Images: Chi-Rho, Manger,
Christmas Rose
Jesus in born in Bethlehem.
The Chi-Rho symbol incorporates the first two Greek letters for Christ. The Chi-Rho here represents the Christ
Child in the manger. Below the manger is a Christmas Rose with another Chi-Rho in its center. The rose is
found as a symbol for Jesus’ birth in the German Christmas carol, “Lo, How a Rose is Blooming,” drawing its
image from the Song of Solomon.
 
  The Nativity   |   Scripture: Luke 2:6-7
Symbols & Images: Mary, Joseph & Jesus with the shepherds and
wise men
The larger nativity window provides an expanded pictographic representation of the participants associated with
Jesus’ birth.
In this scene, the star shines over the manger while the shepherds and wise men worship the baby Jesus who
is in the care of Mary and Joseph.
  The Shepherds at Jesus’ Birth   |   Scripture: Luke 2:15-20
Symbols & Images: Lamb & Staff
Angels announce Jesus’ birth to shepherds in the field.
The shepherds to whom the angels announced Jesus’ birth are represented by the lamb and three staffs.
  The Epiphany   |   Scripture: Matthew
Symbols & Images: Star and Three Crowns
The wise men from the East follow the star to the place of Jesus’ birth.
The star that came to rest over the birth of Jesus shines over the three crowns symbolizing the wise men. The
number of wise men is not mentioned in the Bible, but the three gifts have traditionally led to assuming there
were three Magi.
The Flight to Egypt   |   Scripture: Matthew 2:13-15
Symbols & Images: Palm Trees and Pyramids
King Herod tells the wise men to inform him of the place of Jesus’ birth. When the wise men avoid the king,
Herod tries to destroy Jesus by killing all the young male children in the area. Mary, Joseph and Jesus escape
to Egypt to avoid the slaughter of the Holy Innocents.
The palms and the pyramids are images of Egypt, the place to which Jesus and his family fled.
  Circumcision: The Name of Jesus   |   Scripture: Luke 2:21; Matthew 1:23; Isaiah 7:14
Symbols & Images:Immanuel
Jesus is brought to be circumcised as prescribed by Jewish law.
The focus of the circumcision is on the name of Jesus given to Mary by the angel. Immanuel, which means “God
with us.” is another name by which Jesus was called based on Isaiah’s prophecy. Isaiah’s words are quoted by Matthew in describing Joseph’s dream about Jesus’ coming birth.
  The Presentation   |   Scripture: Luke 2:22-24   |   Symbols & Images: Doves and Pillars
The baby Jesus is presented to God at the temple in Jerusalem.
The rite of Presentation was expected of a Jewish child. The doves were the offering made by Mary and Joseph
as they presented Jesus to God in the temple (symbolized by the pillars).
  The Boy Jesus in the Temple   |   Scripture: Luke 2:41-52; Psalm 119:105   |   Symbols & Images: Lamp on
Scriptures
The boy Jesus amazes the teachers in the Temple.
The lamp is a symbol of the word of God. It sits over the book of the scriptures. Here these symbols represent
Jesus’ knowledge and understanding as he spoke with the teachers in the temple as a twelve-year-old boy.

Part 2