One of the traditions of the church that I love and appreciate is the Christian year of seasons and holy days which are organized in and around two cycles: the Christmas cycle of Advent-Christmas-Epiphany and the Easter cycle of Lent-Easter-Pentecost. In between those cycles is a stretch of time called Ordinary Time.
Worship is a multi-sensory experience, with colors used in our services to help us collectively attune to a particular time of the Christian year. Blue, a color for hope, is often used during Advent. Purple is a color of both penitence and royalty used during the preparatory seasons of Advent and Lent. White and gold are joyous and festive colors used during the Christmas and Easter seasons, except the Day of Pentecost, which sports red. White is also used on particular festive days such as Baptism of the Lord, Transfiguration, Christ the King, and All Saints. Green is used for Ordinary Time, and symbolizes a time of growth.
Another fine tradition that Mt. Zion has beautifully embraced, is the use of colored glass windows depicting symbols and scenes recalling the Biblical narrative. The use of such windows during the Medieval period down through the ages was a way for people to visualize stories from the Bible, whether they could read or not. The beautiful windows in Mt. Zion’s sanctuary celebrate the ministry of Jesus in a collection of stained, German-cut and beveled glass.
For example, the window in this picture is entitled “Wedding at Cana,”
which recalls the first miracle of Jesus, in which he turned water into wine.
The symbols are the clay jars and wedding symbol.
The window below is entitled “Feeding the Multitude,”
recalling the miracle near Capernaum, when Jesus fed five thousand
with five loaves and two fish.
I love these windows and was delighted to see them when I first came to Mt. Zion. Throughout the year I hope to make use of them during our worship times, when I am preaching on Scripture passages which correspond to our windows. In the meantime, I encourage you to look closely at all the windows and see if you can guess what aspect of Jesus and his ministry they represent.
Peace and Grace,