SAINT MARK LUTHERAN CHURCH
MEMORIAL STAINED GLASS WINDOWS

Call the church office (979-297-2667) to ask about a tour of these windows.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." And the light shining is Christ. In response to this command of our Lord, the congregation at St. Mark elected to beautify our new Sanctuary and let His "light shine" through an array of seventeen brightly colored stained glass windows. Using a motif of traditional Christian symbols and classical art design, the windows follow a historical theme from Genesis through Revelation. One-inch thick, saw-cut, faceted glass covers over 850 square feet of wall space and weighs over six tons. Each of the sixty-seven panels making up the windows weighs between 100-250 lbs. and there are over fifty-five hundred pieces of cut glass in all.





The walls of the Sanctuary display four Old Testament windows on the left and four New Testament windows on the right. Beginning at the left rear of the worship area is the window titled "CREATION."   The upper panels are filled with vibrant light and energy from the newly created sun, moon, and planets; while the lower half of the window shows the peace and serenity of a garden with its gently flowing brook and playful creatures. God the Father looks over His creation, and it is good!







The second window on the left is called "FALL OF MAN." Portrayed is the shame and disgrace of our first parents as they are driven out of the Garden of Eden. The upper panels of the window depict the Tree of Life, the flaming sword, and the Cherubim placed at the east end of Eden by God to keep man from returning. The briars and rocks at the feet of Adam and Eve symbolize the problems man will face because of sin. Yet in spite of all of this, God, Our Father, did not abandon us. Even though we disrupted His entire creation, God promised that He would save us by sending the "seed of the woman," Jesus, to crush the head of the serpent.






The next window is rich with color and symbols. This window is titled "THE FLOOD." Directly in the center of the picture is Noah's Ark resting on Mount Ararat. In the upper panel is the dove returning with an olive branch signifying that the waters were receding and that Noah and his family would soon be able to leave the ark. Extending across the sky is a beautiful rainbow, the sign of the covenant God made with Noah that He would never destroy the earth and mankind by means of a flood again. Finally, in the lower half of the window, is the altar built by Noah and his family as the first act of a man and his family saved by God. Their worship is a thank offering for sparing their lives.







Above the exit door on the left is the window entitled "THE LAW." Here Moses, the chosen leader of God's people, is bringing down the ten commandments from Mount Sinai. Thunder clouds and lightening fill the sky as the children of Israel, at the base of the mountain, worship the golden calf. The perfect law which once dwelt in the hearts of our first parents has now been given back to man carved on two stone tablets.




Above the exit door on the right side of the Sanctuary is the "NATIVITY" window. This window and the next window on the right side display three chronological events in the life of Christ. Each window on the right balances with the Old Testament window directly across from it. The splendor and magnificence of the Star of Bethlehem is captured as it spills its light and warmth on the Newborn Babe and His parents. Beneath the manger, at the feet of the Christ Child, lie the staff of a shepherd and the gifts of the Wise Men, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. God gives His blue print for perfect living in "THE LAW," but, knowing that man is incapable of keeping the law perfectly, He gives us His perfect Gift of Love and atonement through the Gospel at the "NATIVITY."





The "CRUCIFIXION/RESURRECTION" window purposefully shows three empty crosses in the top panel. The sun is setting; evening is quickly approaching. The crown of thorns encircles the center cross where our King has been killed. The mood at the top of the mountain is sterile and bleak. Yet just beneath Golgotha, in the garden of Joseph of Arimathea, life and light are bursting forth as the stone is rolled back from the sepulcher and our Savior rises from the dead. The Easter lily symbolizes this life after death. Just as the lily's bulb must decay in the ground before this magnificent flower erupts, so did our God have to die and be buried before rising to life. In the flood God almost wipes out His entire creation because of man's corruption. However, in the crucifixion God sacrifices His own Son to save His creation just as the ark saved Noah and his family. Christ, who knew no sin, was made sinful for us. Christ's resurrection, or rebirth, parallels the rebirth of mankind when Noah emerged from the ark.






"PENTECOST/THE GREAT COMMISSION" beautifully depicts the loving hand of God the Father sending His Holy Spirit to us through the Word. Likewise, Jesus commissions us to extend the hand of friendship and service and aid to all mankind. In the same way that God kept His promise to Adam and Eve that He would send a Savior through the "seed of a woman," so does God promise to send us His Holy Spirit through the Word.








The last window on the right wall is entitled "REVELATION." The central figure in this window is the triumphant Lamb of God carrying high the victory banner through the golden streets of the new Jerusalem. Beneath the feet of the Lamb, lies the Book of Life with its seven seals referred to by Saint John in the Apocalypse. Finally, seated at the top of the window is the miraculous Crown of Life our Lord promises to all who have lived by faith on the last day. Just as God the Father's original paradise is displayed in the "CREATION" window, the "REVELATION" window displays that He promises us a "new heaven and a new earth" so magnificent that our minds cannot even imagine its splendor. This window seems to be shouting with the blare of a trumpet, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."








High above the altar on the left is the "BAPTISM" window. Taking its place with the Old Testament theme, baptism is the washing away of the old Adam. The dove in the upper part of the window symbolizes the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us through the Word. The shell represents the earthly element of water found in the sacrament and shows that in Baptism our sins are washed away. The three drops of water mixed with fire remind us that the Triune God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is present in this sacrament.











On the right is the "HOLY COMMUNION" window with its sheaves of golden grain and ripened grapes reminding us that during the Lord's Supper we receive the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ "in, with, and under the bread and the wine."












The large four-window "GOOD SHEPHERD" scene covering the front wall of the Sanctuary was chosen to set the mood of the worship service. The theme is PEACE; the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ which passes all understanding. How comforting it is to snuggle up to our Lord and have Him lift us up into His arms when we are tired. How refreshing it is that our Shepherd leads us to drink beside the still waters. As we gaze into His eyes we are reminded of the angelic chorus sung at His birth, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth, PEACE, goodwill toward men."

The size of a computer screen necessitates the small view of this magnificent window. One should see the glory from inside the sanctuary.









To the left of the altar is a small room called the Sacristy. This is the area where the bread and wine are prepared for communion and altar linens are stored. The window in the Sacristy is titled "SERVICE." In this glass is a pair of helping hands dipping into a basin of water with a towel next to the basin. This symbolizes all the volunteer work and dedication that is necessary to keep the church clean and beautiful.







To the right of the altar is the Vestry. This is the room where the minister and the acolyte put on their robes before the service. The window in the Vestry is titled "MINISTRY." Symbols in this window include the cross, a shepherd's staff, a minister's stole, a resting lamb, and the opened Bible.






To view the last window, you must leave the Sanctuary and turn right. In the hallway leading to the Fellowship Hall, the window is located on the right facing the Sanctuary. The round window is filled with a beautiful replica of
MARTIN LUTHER'S SEAL.





Our Lord God has richly blessed us here at St. Mark. These windows, with the depiction of the Biblical history of redemption and God's call to action, serve to point us always to the One who blesses, not the blessing; to the Giver and not the gifts.

May this Sanctuary continue to serve Him and His people,
drawing all men to Jesus Christ. Amen