"Windows That Look In: Part 1"

Each window in the Nave and Chancel depicts an image of special significance. Sometimes I sit in the silence with our windows and  find myself moved by the story behind each image. I want everyone to share understand the profound significance of our windows and invite everyone to study each one as we rehearse their significance over the coming weeks. Note: when you enter the sanctuary, the pair of windows on your left are 1 and 2. The pair on your right are 3 and 4… and so on. I want to focus first on the Four Evangelists, which are pictured in windows 5-8. Each of the four Gospels focus light on the humanity, divinity, and ministry of Jesus in particular ways, and Christian Tradition has assigned to each author a corresponding symbol: 5) St. Mark is a Lion; 6) St. Matthew is a Human Being; 7) St. John is an Eagle; and 8) St. Luke is an Ox. Here's what these four symbols mean in the Tradition:
  • the Ox is a symbol of sacrifice because the animal was used by the Israelites in rites of atonement. It is assigned to Luke because his Gospel emphasizes the "sacrificial aspects of the Lord's atonement as well as his…divine priesthood."
  • the Eagle is a symbol for the resurrected Christ, who ascends upward into heavenly light to reclaim the divine majesty and glory that he gave up in the Incarnation. The Eagle is assigned to John because he, "in his Gospel, soars upward in his contemplation of the divine nature of the Savior."
  • The Tradition assigns Matthew the image of a Human Being since he emphasizes the humanity of Jesus and his concern for the poor during his public ministry.
  • the Lion was given to Mark because his Gospel stresses Jesus' teachings on the resurrection of the dead, and ancient science held that lions were born dead and brought to life by the breath and roar of their sires. The Lion also commonly symbolizes strength and vitality so it became a symbol for the resurrected Christ, who is the Lord of Life.

Part 2

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Ionia First
United Methodist Church
105 East Main St
Ionia, Michigan
Phone: 616-527-1860

E-mail: ioniafirst@gmail.com
Office hours:
Monday thru Friday
9 AM-11:00 AM

Ionia First United Methodist Church
Sunday Service 9:30 AM

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