Saint Daniel Church:
THE STAINED GLASS ENCIRCLEMENT
(Vera Sattler, Designer; Manufactured in
Collaboration with Leo Weeg and Daniel Cichelli)
Have you taken a closer look at the colorful stained glass in the back of Saint Daniel church?
Let's discover the symbols and signs that tall of a very special story- Step up with us onto the altar area. There we turn around and look out over the pews. You'll notice three sections in the stained glass encirclement. Let's start on the far left, above the chapel (cry room) area.
God prepares a People (Old Testament)
The first picture in the panel to our left is hard to see:
Abraham willing to sacrifice his son, but a messenger of God stops him - Abraham comes to know God and becomes our ancestor in faith.
The cup and egg are signs of the Passover when God saved His people from slavery in Egypt We still raise the cup every Sunday for another deliverance: Christ's victory over death and sin. The egg as a sign' of NEW LIFE has lived on in our Easter tradition.
Next you see the Burning Bush, where God called Moses.
Next you see the Ten Commandments.
There is the harp of King David, the tent over the Ark of the Covenant and the Bible that tells all these stories of God's long relationship with His people.
The bones and whirling sun tell of death and suffering when God's people were taken into exile and the promise of God through the prophet Ezekiel that God could restore even the dead to life. The temple is a sign of this new life. It was rebuilt after the people returned again from exile in Babylon.
The last symbol in the first section is the Rose of Sharon with a lion and a lamb. They recall Isaiah' words (Isaiah 11 :6b) about the rule of Emmanuel that will be so peaceful that even "The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them."
And "the Word became flesh" (John 1.14) through Mary (lily). The star of Bethlehem, signifying Jesus' birth, is followed by symbols of events from His life:
the water jars from the wedding at Cana,
the fish and loaves pointing to the Sermon on the Mount and the feeding of the 5000, keys referring to the "keys to the Kingdom" given to the church by Jesus, the lamp (light to the world) ...
and the signs of his trade, the carpenter tools. The crown of thorns recalls Jesus' suffering, the cross his death.
But the rainbow behind the cross already points to the hope and promise of resurrection new life even in suffering and death.
Next is what looks like an apple but is actually a pomegranate. Like the seeds in the fruit, so was Jesus buried in the tomb. And just as from seeds sprouts new life so came new life from death.
The butterfly tells of this transformation to a new and more glorious life. Just as it emerges from the cocoon to new, glorious beauty that it never knew as a caterpillar, so Jesus emerges from the tomb to new life and glory.
The last symbol in the center section is a dove, surrounded by flames, both signs of the Holy Spirit who inspires and empowers us to continue the mission of Jesus.
The "Bark of Peter" is the church, mission of Christ through the ages.
The three candles over a triangle represent the trinity. A triangle has three corners, yet it is one. Three candles held together merge in one flame: One God yet three persons - Father, Son and Spirit.
The four books represent the four Gospels preached to the four corners of the earth. Various symbols tell of the work of the church through the ages. The basket with food and medicine reminds us to do the works of service and charity along the journey to...
... our final goal and destiny: eternity with God, pictured by the brilliant circles at the very end of the panels. Circles have no end just as our eternal life with God will have no end.