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1701 16th Avenue
Sterling, Illinois, 61081
Phone: 815-625-3069
 
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Recent
Stained Glass
100th Anniversary

 
   
  STAINED GLASS WINDOWS OF St. PAUL LUTHERAN CHURCH
The stained glass windows of St. Paul Lutheran Church were installed in the Fall of 1965. They were made (in Germany) by the Conrad Pickel Studio of New Berlin, Wisconsin. The windows are chronologically arranged. The Old Testament is portrayed on the east wall and the New Testament is portrayed on the west wall. The choir loft is backed by a large set of stained glass windows. As you leave the church you will also see the large Resurrection window at the back of the church. This is a reminder to us, as we go out into the World, the sacrifice our Savior made for us.
OLD TESTIMENT — EAST WALL
THE CREATION
THE CREATION

The first window in the nave symbolizes the moment when God, in His love, created man in his own image and made him a free being able to choose between good and evil. The touch of the Creator's hands express the fact that man became a living soul. The shaft of light radiating from the triangle signifies God's power and the grace he has bestowed upon man. Adam is standing on the globe indicating him as the crown of the creation and the master of the earth. The plants and animals depict the Garden of Eden in which God has placed Adam and Eve. We notice a flock of colorful birds sweeping down from the sky, a lion, a rabbit and a butterfly.

NOAH
NOAH

The second window illustrates God's covenant with Noah after the Great Flood. Noah receives the assurance that, although man had chosen evil and fallen into sin, God would never again destroy the world by another flood. The rainbow is the sign of this assurance and of God's mercy despite our sins. The figure of Noah is shown in the attitude of worshipping God and of imploring divine protection against further disaster. The rainbow symbolizes God's reply. The altar of sacrifice is nearby, which Noah raised immediately after leaving the ark. The dove in the bottom section is a symbol of peace and mercy, the mercy which God had upon Noah in sparing him from the catastrophe. The keys signify forgiveness of sins that had caused the Great Flood.

MOSES
MOSES

After the people of Israel had left Egypt, God led them to Mt. Sinai where they encamped in the wilderness. God called Moses up into the mountain where he remained for forty days and nights. It was then that God gave him, written on two tablets of stone, the Ten Commandments which contain his holy will. The window shows Moses standing on the mountain holding the tablets which he has just received from God. The two rays of light radiating from his head refer to the scriptural remark that the "skin of his face shone" because he had been talking with God. (Exodus 34:29)

DAVID THE KING
DAVID THE KING

After the people of Israel had settled in the Promised Land it produced great leaders, the greatest among them David. For all that he was a political and military genius, he is best known as the singer of Israel. In his youth he played the harp to sooth the moods of King Saul; later as a king he wrote famous Psalms which up to this date give so much comfort to the faithful. The window shows him as he sings to the music of the harp while the Ark of the Covenant is being carried to Jerusalem. The symbols in the bottom section are the lyre, another musical instrument mentioned in the Bible, and the tower and Star of David.

THE PROPHET ISAIAH
THE PROPHET ISAIAH

The last figure taken from the Old Testament is that of Isaiah. In his book we have some of the clearest prophecies of the Messiah so that he sometimes is called the Evangelist of the Old Testament. The design depicts the calling of the prophet. As he sees the Lord he is overwhelmed by his feeling of unworthiness and he cries.
NEW TESTIMENT — WEST WALL
THE NATIVITY
THE NATIVITY

The Nativity Window presents the beloved scene of the birth of Christ amid the manifestations of heavenly glory, but also in the poverty of the stable of Bethlehem (Luke 2) where He “took the form of a servant”. (Philippians 2:7).

Above is the star which guided the Wise Men to the King of the Jews. The shaft of heavenly light originating from above the star, symbolizes the divine nature of the child come down and now joined to His humanity. On the left we see St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, looking on in joy and worship.

In this window and all others depicting Jesus, He has a halo or nimbus around His head implying divine glory. Nimbus means cloud; in the Bible a cloud surrounds God as he appears to humans. The three rays in the nimbus indicate He is one of the Persons of the Trinity.

In the bottom panel are the three gifts of the Wise Men: gold (a gift for a king), frankincense (symbolizing prayer; he is our high priest) and myrrh (used in burial; prefiguring Jesus’ death). These gifts represent Jesus’ ministry as our king and high priest and the final outcome of His life in His death and resurrection. The cross with the letter “P” superimposed on it is the Chi Rho, one of the oldest Christian symbols. The Chi Rho represents the first two Greek letters of the word “Christ” which means “king”.

THE BOY JESUS IN THE TEMPLE
THE BOY JESUS IN THE TEMPLE

This scene expresses both Our Savior's love, even as a child, for the things of his Father, and also the extraordinary understanding of the Word of God which the divine youth manifested to the astonishment of the learned doctors. On the faces of the dignified doctors is reflected their surprise at the Savior's understanding. In the right upper section Mary and Joseph are depicted as they enter the temple. After a three-day search they have found their son in the temple. The design in the center of the lower panel shows the oil lamp, symbol of wisdom and spiritual Zealand the scroll, symbol of the Holy Scripture.

THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS

The Baptism of Jesus by St. John the Baptist shows Our Lord at the beginning of His ministry. John, the forerunner, clad in a garment of camel's hair, had been preparing the way for Christ. While Christ is standing in the Jordan, the heavens open and the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, is descending upon Him and a voice is heard: "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." The design in the bottom section shows a scroll and a candle, indicating that Christ has come as the light of the world in fulfillment of the Scriptures.

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT

The Sermon on the Mount, famous among the sermons of Our Lord because of the Eight Beatitudes it contains, was delivered on a low mount in Galilee. We see Christ seated on the mount, teaching the numerous groups of people surrounding Him. We find men and women, young and old, listening to the words of the Savior. His speech seems to be new to their ears: "Blessed are the poor in spirit… blessed are they that mourn…" but He assures them also: "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets… I have come to fulfill them". The fountain represents the fountain of the living water: "The water that I shall give him, will become in him a spring welling up to eternal life." This water is the Word of God, which we accept in faith. The eight-pointed star signifies the Eight Beatitudes.

JESUS FEEDING THE MULTITUDE
JESUS FEEDING THE MULTITUDE

Again we see our Lord surrounded by the crowds that have followed Him. In the preceding window Christ was shown teaching the people, here we see Him taking care of their material needs." He commanded them to sit down by companies upon the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties." A boy with a basket containing the loaves and the fish is kneeling in front of Our Lord. "He blessed and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people… and they all ate and were satisfied." The basket of loaves and the fish in the lower section refer to the "baskets full of the broken pieces left over." (Matthew 14:20)

THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON
THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON

In a unique way Jesus has taught the truths of the Kingdom of God in numerous parables. One of the most familiar is the story of the prodigal son illustrated in this window. Reduced to the state of a beggar, the son is kneeling down before his father: "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee. I am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants." (Luke 15:18-19). All he has left is a worn out garment, a staff, and a water flask. But in spite of all this the Father is receiving his son with open arms; a new dress is ready to give him a new look and to reinstate him in his former privileges. The parable of the prodigal son illustrates the love of our heavenly Father towards all His children, and forgiveness of the sinners who repent and turn back to Him in faith and confidence. The crossed keys in the bottom section are another sign of the forgiveness of sins.

CHRIST BLESSING THE CHILDREN
CHRIST BLESSING THE CHILDREN

"And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased and said unto them, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them." (Mark 10:13-16). Jesus is shown holding a little boy in his arm: a little girl is looking up to the Savior in love and confidence. In this upper right and left we see parents waiting to bring their children to Jesus. The flowers in the bottom section are the daisy, symbolizing the innocence, the lily of the valley symbolizing the humility of the children.

THE CRUCIFIXION
THE CRUCIFIXION

This window represents the central event in all human history. There, on the cross, Our Lord hangs for hours in spiritual and physical agony, as the Lamb of God, sacrificed for us and for our countless sins. The cross itself is rendered in red to symbolize the blood that Christ has shed for us. From now on the cross will be the sign of redemption and of the true faith. Beside the cross stands the Virgin Mary, His mother, and John, the sorrowing disciple. Above the Savior's head is the tablet, placed there by the order of Pontius Pilate, bearing the inscription "INRI" which means "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." The darkened sun and the lightning striking from the sky suggest the events in nature that occurred during this dramatic event: darkness was over the land, the earth shook and the rocks were split.
THE RESURRECTION — NORTH WALL
THE RESURRECTION
THE RESURRECTION

The large window on the north side of the church concludes the series depicting the events of the Old and the New Testament. The bold design illustrates the Resurrection of Our Lord with its triumphant message of life victorious in Christ over death and the power of darkness. It expresses the joy in the fulfillment of the mission the Father had given His Son. Without this last scene and it's message, our lives would be gloomy indeed. Dominating all else in the windows stands the rising figure of Christ, vigorously alive again. Although the wounds are still visible, he carries symbolically the banner of victory with a streaming pennant of triumph. On the right we see the angel who has removed the stone from the tomb. He is holding a palm branch, a sign of Christ the Victor. Beside the tomb we see the sun, rising on Easter morning, spreading it's light in ever widening circles. The Easter lilies in front of the tomb have pierced the ground and appear in their white splendor as another symbol of the Resurrection. The curved area, rendered in green, suggests the earth, which participates in the renewal of life.
THE CHOIR WINDOW — EAST WALL
THE CHOIR WINDOW
THE CHOIR WINDOW
The Choir Window, which has a purely symbolical treatment, may be called an exhortation to Praise and Prayer. The censer and the hands recall the words of the Psalms: "Let my prayer be counted as incense before thee, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice" (Psalms 141, 142). Our praise of the Lord is suggested by the organ, the harp, the trumpets and the musical scroll. With the idea of Praise and Prayer the designer has combined a symbolical illustration of the Reformation by showing the coat of arms of Luther (upper right) and the book of the Bible (upper left).

©2010 St. Paul Lutheran Church, Sterling, Illinois