Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This July and August, we’re having a sermon series on our stained-glass windows. Our windows are beautiful pieces that were first installed at St. Paul’s in the 1880s church and moved to their current location in 1940. Many of the scenes are reproductions of window designs by some of the
great masters of stained-glass, Hofmann and Plockhorst, and move chronologically through the life of Jesus.
The sermon series is an opportunity to more deeply engage the art which surrounds us each week in worship. Did you know that one of the main purposes behind stained-glass in the Middle Ages was to illustrate the stories and teachings of the Bible for a largely illiterate public? There is
a magnificent window at Canterbury Cathedral in England which is even titled The Poor Man’s Bible.
Even living in a society where most can read and have access to the Bible, art can offer us another avenue into experiencing these stories. It is also a great way for younger children to be able to see the scripture come alive, without having to read.
Tim and I were recently in Paris and had the chance to see a lot of fabulous stained-glass up close (sadly not Notre Dame). We also saw a lot of other artwork, including many religious works. I was often struck by the emotion of the scenes. The artists had captured joy and despair, hope and disappointment so vividly that familiar biblical passages were given new light.
What makes the Bible come alive for you? Is it art, or stained-glass, or music? Is it reading aloud, or new films that depict the biblical epic? The Bible tells a story—a very important story—that is meant to be not just known, but experienced and lived. The most meaningful way for each of us
to do that will be as different and numerous as we are as individuals.
I hope you’ll join us to experience the Bible through our stained-glass this summer, and that you may experience God’s story through your travels as well.