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“Over 20 members of Calvary Lutheran Church, Marquette, Michigan

worked together almost around the clock–in the weeks before Pastor David Reim left for Vernon, British Columbia–to complete a large stained glass project that had been in planning for almost a year. The excitement built as the windows slowly began to take shape until they were complete. The result is a beautiful reminder of the love of our God in all His works for us.” So wrote Pastor Reim. What follows is an abbreviated explanation of the symbolism involved in the windows.

The Love Of God Depicted In Stained Glass

The predominant feature of both windows is the large radiating cross. The cross where Jesus died on Calvary is the center of our faith and hope. The cross shows us the amazing extent of God’s love. Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. It is certainly fitting that the cross of Calvary takes center place in our life, our church name, and now also in the stained glass windows.

Because Christ’s death on the cross has done so much for us, the crosses are pictured as beams of light radiating down to the earth with the light of life.

Our Triune God Saves Us

The window on the left reminds us that our God is the Triune God. The symbol at the very bottom of the window is a common symbol for the Trinity–our great Three-in-One. This whole window represents the Trinity and all He does for us.

The Son of God is pictured as “the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” He is placed at the center of the cross because that is where He made His sacrifice for the sins of the world.

The empty tomb is a vivid reminder of Jesus’ glorious resurrection. It is the empty tomb that makes the cross truly glorious for the believer. The Easter lilies are also a popular symbol of Christ’s resurrection. Their pure white color reminds us of the beauty of holiness that Jesus’ death and resurrection has earned for us.

The Holy Spirit is pictured as the dove of peace. He descends upon us through the Word and sacraments much like He descended upon Jesus at His baptism.

God the Father is not directly pictured in any one symbol, but He is seen in everything. He is the Creator of the beautiful earth we live in, pictured in the hills and flowers.

May we give all thanks and praise to our Triune God. It is by His grace alone that His love and mercy and glory radiate down upon us in such abundance.

Our Loving God Comes To Us

The window on the right depicts how our gracious God comes to us. He shows us His wisdom, power, and care in the grandeur and beauty of His creation pictured at the bottom of each window.

The Bible is pictured coming down out of heaven, just as God gave His Word from heaven by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The rays of the cross shine upon the Bible, just as the redemption Jesus won for us on the cross is the central focus of the entire Bible. The Bible is pictured as being open to remind us that it is intended to be–and needs to be–read and heard, not kept closed on the shelf. When we see the Bible in the window, let us remember to use our Bibles so that we may be blessed.

Our Lord also comes to us through the sacraments. The Lord’s Supper is pictured by the bread and the grapes and the chalice. It is placed in the center of the cross because Jesus gives us the very body and blood that He shed on the cross in payment for our sins.

The stream flowing through the hills can remind us of several things. It is a picture of the water of Baptism which washes us clean of all sins and makes us children of God by bringing us to faith. The Bible also uses a fresh mountain stream as a picture of the Holy Spirit coming to us in the Word, and as the water of life that refreshes and nourishes the believer.

The tree by the stream could be viewed as the tree of life. Jesus promises all who overcome the threats and temptations of the world: “I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7). The tree can also be a beautiful picture of each believer who is thriving by drinking the precious water of life (see Ps. 1:2-3).

The Alpha and the Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Jesus says: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (Rev. 22:13).

May these windows be a continual reminder of the grace and love of our God, and may they lead us to give all glory to Him now and forever.