First United Methodist Church of Heath
Friday, December 06, 2013
Growing Friends in Christ
Showing praise can come in many forms. One of the ways found in our church are the stained glass windows, which reflect our beliefs in living a Christian life. Each window's symbols and colors represent a conviction we feel important to our church family. Our main window represents the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The fleur de lis cross signifies the mature Christian and reminds us of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us by dying on the cross to forgive our sins. The sunburst behind the cross represents God's covenant with us after the flood and the fact that the Christian comes out of the darkness of sin, into the light of forgiveness and Christ. The bottom of the glass starts with the earthly browns symbolizing this world that God has entrusted to us. The greens show the growth of nature, and the blues are the bountiful waters.
The sanctuary windows are a continuation of the rainbow colors of the central window. Each window symbolizes a Christian belief and the accompanying Bible verse helps to illustrate this belief.
The first window with the open Bible and bells, shows our belief in the word of God. The bell also symbolizes the sounding forth of God's word. This window was given by the congregation to Rev. Larry D. Ravert and his wife Carol Ann who were very instrumental in getting the building we now occupy built. Carol Ann started the bell choir for us and led us all to a new music appreciation.
"I am the Light of the World" John 8:12
This window illustrates our belief in Life everlasting. With the scripture "I am the resurrection and the life" from the Gospel of John 11:25. The plant life as well as the butterly symbolizes changes in the life of Christ. The first statge is the caterpillar, the new sprouting leaf, and Jesus' life on earth. Then comes the chrysalis, the aging stem and Jesus in the tomb. And last is the magnificant butterfly, the fruited tree and the heavenly body of Christ.
Baptism has always been a strong foundation of the church. The shell represents immortality, and the 3 water drops represent the trinity. Together these have always stood for baptism. The small sprouting plant symbolized the birth of a growing spirit, a spirit that has just been welcomed into the Christian world.
"For by one Spirit we were all baptised into one body."
1 Corinthians 12:13
"I will sing and make music with all my soul" Psalm 108:1.
This verse illustrates the importance for praising God with our music. Music is one of the major inspirational parts of our worship and is a symbol of heavenly joy. The flute, evokes visions of pastoral scenes, while the harp suggest heavenly music.
At the Last Supper, Jesus broke the bread and poured the wine saying, "Do this in Remembrance of Me" Luke 22:19 As we take communion, we are reminded of his words and recall that we are forgiven.
The window has the basic elements of communion with grapes, wheat, and the chalice. The forgiveness of sins, life and salvation are all benefits received from the Last Supper, which is remembered in sharing of the bread and cup during communion.
The way to communicate with God is through prayer, not only here in our church, but throughout our daily lives. The "Power of Prayer" is the title of this stained glass window.
"Rejoice always, Pray without ceasing, In everything give thanks." 1 Thessalonians 5:16
The church has historically been compared to a ship with the people being the cargo. The ship in the window has a mast that resembles the cross, the sign of Christ, our salvation.
The rocks to the side are a symbol of God, who is ever present. The dove with the olive branch is the Holy Spirit bringing us peace with the promise of coming safely home. This window was dedicated to the children of the church, our present and future messengers of Christ.
This windows design consists of a large heart with a crown of thorns, which is a symbol for charitable love.
The verse, "And the greatest of these is love" is taken from 1 Corinthians 13:12 which is a popular verse for many weddings. This window was donated in honor of a 50th wedding anniversary, which in itself demonstrates great love.