2502 E. College Ave.
Bloomington, IL 61704
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FBC’s Windows

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

In FBC’s sanctuary are two large circular stained glass windows (designed by artist William Wright). Each are over 11’ in diameter. Not only are they both rich with bright, brilliant colors, but they each have their own theme and speak of God’s salvation story.

Creation Window

On the west wall is the Creation Window. A series of brilliant petals (or panes) tells the Genesis story – six days when God demonstrated His awesome power by forming everything from nothing.

Working clockwise from the top, the petals portray the creative work of God on each day:

  • Day One – Night and Day (Genesis 1:3-5).
  • Day Two – Sky and Sea (Genesis 1:6-8).
  • Day Three – Land and Vegetation (Genesis 1:9-13).
  • Day Four – Stars, Sun, and Moon (Genesis 1:14-19).
  • Day Five – Fish and Birds (Genesis 1:20-23).
  • Day Six – Animals and Mankind (Genesis 1:24-31; 2:7).

 

Christ Window

On the south wall is the Christ Window, God’s new creation. The radiant petals (casting a reddish hue throughout the sanctuary) showcase scenes from Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection. Again, working clockwise from the top, you’ll see:

  • Jesus’ miraculous birth as both shepherds and kings gaze in wonderment (Luke 2:7,10; Matthew 2:10-11).
  • The baptism of Jesus, marking His commissioning and empowerment by God to begin His earthly ministry (Mark 1:9-11).
  • One of Jesus’ many awe-inspiring miracles: feeding more than 5,000 people – with just two fish and five loaves of bread (Luke 9:16-17)!
  • Jesus sharing the Last Supper with his 12 disciples, including the one who betrayed Him; can you find him (Mark 14:22-23)?
  • Jesus’ excruciating death on the cross, where He gave Himself as a sacrifice for the atonement of all of our sins (Matthew 27:45,51,54).
  • Jesus’ triumphant resurrection, overcoming death prior to His ascension into Heaven (Luke 24:30-31,35).

Symbols

In addition to stories recorded through the main petals, there are many symbols portrayed in each window.

Symbols in the Creation Window

Working clockwise from the top, various symbols in the Creation Window represent key reminders from the Old Testament of God’s presence, then and now:

  • The basket in the reeds – recalls the rescue story of infant Moses (Exodus 2:1-10) and is a sign of divine providence at work.
  • The serpent on the pole – represents Moses’ intercession after many Israelites were bitten by snakes as a consequence of their impatience with God (Numbers 21:4-9); it has become a sign of God’s grace even in the midst of God’s displeasure.
  • The stone tablets – symbolizes the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) which constitutes the fundamental moral law for both Jews and Christians.
  • The burning bush – signifies the call of Moses to deliver the Israelites from the bondage of the Egyptians (Exodus 3:1-4); it also serves as a reminder that God still calls people today in the midst of everyday living.
  • The ark of the covenant – symbolizes both Hebrew worship and the presence of God (Numbers 10:35-36); inside were the stone tablets, Aaron’s rod, and a jar of manna, all reminders of the grace and providence of God through the wilderness experience.
  • The scroll – denotes the book of the Hebrew people upon which was written the words of the Torah (the five books of Moses) as well as the writings of the prophets and historians of Israel; it symbolizes the written testimony of God’s word to the covenant community.
  • The Star of David – characterizes the covenant which God made with King David (II Samuel 7:8-13) that an heir of his would come to reign forever; Jesus, from David’s lineage, established that eternal kingdom (Luke 1:31-33)!
  • The menorah – represents the seven-branched candlestick used to illumine the interior of the holy place (Exodus 25:31-40); the significance of the seven lights is variously interpreted to represent the seven days of creation or the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, seven being the number of perfection and completeness.
Symbols in the New Testament Window

Working clockwise from the top, multiple symbols in the Creation Window represent Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for the world:

  • The Lamb of God – characterizes the Hebrew sacrificial system and the name John the Baptist first called Jesus Christ (John 1:29). The lamb carries a pennant (representing the body of Christ) which is attached to the cruciform staff (representing the cross on which the Lamb of God died and through which the risen Christ saves the world).
  • The wheat – symbolizes the bread of the Lord’s Supper and Jesus’ declaration that He is the living bread (John 6:51); it also brings to mind Jesus’ foreshadowing of His own death and resurrection (John 12:24).
  • The grapes – recall the wine of the Lord’s Supper, a symbol of the blood of Christ shed upon the cross for the life of the world (Matthew 26:28-29).
  • The lily – represents the resurrected Christ who was raised from the dead on the first Easter Sunday; it also is a symbol of the humility and purity of Jesus (Song of Solomon 2:1).
  • Iota Eta Sigma (IHS) – represents the first three letters of the name Jesus in Greek (IHSOYS). In many churches, IHS appears at the very center of the altar cross as a reminder that the central meaning of the cross is that God’s suffering love for humanity is revealed in Jesus Christ on the cross).
  • The fish – denotes an underground confession of faith used by early Christians facing persecution for their faith. It became precious because it was difficult for the uninitiated to understand. The Greek word for fish ichthus is formed by using the first letter of each of the words in Greek (pronounced, but not spelled, Yasous Christos Theou Hyos Soter), which means “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.”
  • The Jerusalem Cross – also known as the Five-Fold Cross and the Crusader’s Cross, represents the five wounds of Jesus’ crucifixion. The four smaller crosses indicate the four corners of the earth to which missionaries of the cross have carried the Gospel since the days of the original church in Jerusalem.
  • The crown of thorns – symbolizes the passion of Jesus, who, after being condemned to death in Pilate’s court, was mocked by soldiers before His crucifixion (Mark 15:16-20).
  • The Chi Rho with the Alpha and Omega – in the center of the window are two items. Chi Rho is an ancient monogram of Christ (derived from the first two letters of the Greek word XPISTOS (pronounced Christos)) which means “the Anointed One.” The lower left symbol is alpha and the lower right is omega; these are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet and refer to the risen Christ (Revelation 22:13). Taken together, these symbols mean “Christ, the Anointed One, the beginning and the end of all things.”

Come See – and Hear – the Good News

Together, these windows communicate the story of God’s first creation, and, as the apostle Paul would later write, God’s new creation (Romans 6) in the life and death of Jesus Christ. Worship happens within what could be considered a third window – the window of the church driven by God’s Spirit.

All of this said, the windows are better seen than described!

More important than mere windows, though, we invite you to come hear for yourself about the life-changing, Good News of Jesus Christ.