In 1926 the windows of Christ Lutheran Church were installed to illustrate the story of Jesus Christ. All church art began in order to help those attending learn more about God and Christianity.
The content was to help illustrate that faith. The windows were meant to inspire and inform.
The setting for each window is like a cathedral. That motif is repeated in the large wooden altar and woodwork, the carvings at the side of every pew and the clear leaded glass of the panel of doors along the west aisle. The cathedral style of the woodwork matches the cathedral style of the windows and doors. Because our ancestors were doing this for God, there was loving attention to detail.
The main picture in every window is set up so that it is as if a person sitting in the pew and looking out that window frame could see that actual scene. These windows were meant to melt away the walls and the miles and the years, allowing you to sit in church, glance out the window and see the Bible scene happening right outside the window.
Most are paintings done on glass but all of the windows have narrow stripes of colored glass running down the edge of each picture. While some are blue and green, the windows that feature Jesus himself are striped in red and purple. Red symbolizes passion and purple stands for royalty. Additionally, red and purple colored glass are the most expensive because in order to create red, real gold has to be melted in.
Most of the windows feature a circle, enclosing three circles in it, with a triangle in the center, to symbolize the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Every one of the little windows along the lower wall, and most of the big ones, feature what’s known as Luther’s rose. The bluish flower with the red heart in the center, and the black cross on the red heart, was a seal Luther designed in 1530. He pressed that seal into melted wax to approve any writings going out under his name. It remains the symbol of Lutheranism. A concerted effort seems to have been made to make sure you knew you were in a Lutheran space.
Finally, all of the windows are arranged in the shape of a cross. The long part starts behind the altar with the birth of Jesus and ends with the back window of Jesus ascending into heaven. The story of his whole life is illustrated and lived out between those ends.
The shorter cross beam is from the Wise Men window to the window of the Empty Tomb. The feature that unites them the Parable of the Sower. Half of the parable is illustrated in the one window and half in the other. The windows are also paired by the image of palms under a shield at the very top and center of these two windows. Palm branches are a motif repeated in the windows that are part of the overall cross-shaped arrangement of the windows.
Come see them in person.