Stained Glass Windows in Church
An Explanation of the Stained Glass Windows
 
Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Savior is the Star of Bethlehem.  Each of the windows seeks to portray that Savior – whether yet promised or now present – from the time of the creation, through the Old and New Testaments, and into all of eternity.  All the windows in the sanctuary have a Biblical star reference. 


The Windows in Front of the Church


 
     We are told in Genesis chapter one that on the fourth day God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.”  For centuries mankind has looked up at the stars in sky and wondered about their meaning.  We see in them how powerful and awesome our God is, that even at the time of the creation he was giving us the message of our redemption.



     To the right of the altar is the nativity window with Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, and Bethlehem’s star.  According to Matthew 2, this star appeared around the time of Jesus’ birth.  On the left hand side of the altar is the creation window.


The Windows to your left (The south wall)


     The last of the Old Testament windows shows the patriarch Jacob, of whom it is written in Numbers 24:17, “A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.”  The promise of the Savior had passed through this forefather as well.


     The first window depicts the time when God made a covenant with Abram around the year 2000 B.C.  The Lord graciously promised to bless Abraham, saying, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.  So shall your offspring be.”  Of course, God promised Abram not only to bring from his line a great nation, but also the world’s Savior.


     The second window shows us Abraham and Isaac.  In Genesis 22:13-17 it says, “Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.’ The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky.”  God would have us understand that he will provide for all of our needs as we place our trust in him.


The Windows to your right (The north wall)
 
     
     The first of these windows is the Magi or the wise men window.  We are told in Matthew chapter 2, “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.’” 

     These wise men are often considered the first gentile Christians.  Jesus came to be their Savior, too!  Matthew continues, “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.”  Oh, that we might worship our Savior, with our lips and with our gifts!
     

     The second New Testament window has special significance to those who have been members at Star of Bethlehem for some time.  We have been encouraged regularly to “Shine like stars.”  In Philippians 2:14-16a the Apostle Paul writes, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.”



     The middle window on the left finds its biblical reference in 2 Peter 1:19.  Here, Peter, an eyewitness to the transfiguration of Jesus, talks about that life-changing moment.  There, before Peter, James, and John, and in the presence of Elijah and Moses, Jesus revealed his true nature as the Son of God and son of man to us on earth.  He is the Morning Star of which Peter writes:  “We have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”

     The last two windows on the New Testament side find their place in the book of Revelation.  Through different visions in this book, Jesus reveals his promises for his people’s future—throughout the New Testament period and into eternity—with descriptive picture language.  In the first of seven visions, the Lord explains what the seven stars are that he holds in his protective hand. “The seven stars are the angels (messengers) of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.”  Here Jesus reveals himself as the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.  May the Lord use us to further his kingdom as by our lives and through our church we proclaim the Word of God.


     The last window to your right finds its inspiration from the words of Revelation 22:16:  “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”  Being True God, he is David’s Creator (Root), and at the same time, being true man, is David’s Offspring.  Through him who is our Morning Star we have the bright and sure promise of a new heaven and a new earth.


The Windows to the back of the Church (The East Wall)
 
     There is one final set of windows, high above the doors as you leave the sanctuary.  These are the shepherd windows.  In these windows we see the astonished look upon the face of the shepherds as an angel announces to them the Good News that a Savior had been born to them.  These windows are to be for us a reminder to be like Bethlehem’s shepherds, not only to hear and rejoice in the message of our Savior—“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about”—but also to do as they did:  “They spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.”
All Scripture references come from The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." ~ Genesis 1:1