The 'New Creation' window
Light was the starting point when we were thinking about our new window. We wanted to express the Glory of God as we experience it in the creation and also in the new creation in the resurrection of Christ.
'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never quenched it'
We also chose four symbols of growth and transformation that Jesus used to picture the kingdom of God, and artist Rona Moody included abstract representations of these in the window:
Light 'You are the light of the world'
Salt 'You are the salt of the earth'
We also thought abought the connotations of Psalter Lane, and about the possibility that Jesus did not mean salt as we know it, but rather some kind of phosphate used as a fertiliser.
Yeast 'which a woman took and mixed into three measures of flour until it worked all through the dough'
Seeds There are many parables about sowing, including 'the little mustard seed which grows into a huge tree'
Some suggestions for using the window as a focus for thought, prayer and meditation:
1. Think of the 'Big Bang' at the beginning of time, that inconceivably great explosion of gases that made everything in the universe possible. Around the top of the window you will see images of galaxies and stars, such as the Hubble space telescope has shown us.
'God creates the possibility of possibility'
2. Reflect on the amazing explosion that was the event of Jesus Christ in history: his life, his death and the resurrection which set in motion a whole new faith and understanding of the purposes of God.
Notice that the central lines of tracery, at the very source of light, form a saltire (St Andrew's) cross.
'Christ is the Light of the world'.
3. An idea that was in our minds as we thought about the window was that of the burning bush by which Moses became aware of the holy presence of God.
Look at the great glow at the heart of the window and think of the holiness of God as something powerful, burning and inextinguishable.
'I am who I am'.
4. 'The light shines in the darkness...' - but notice how the light begins to spread through the darkness.
See how the four symbols of the presence of God on earth (salt, light, yeast, seeds) are also diamonds of light, drawing from the true source, which is God in Christ.
Think of churches, individuals and many other groups as light for the world, because they reflect something of God's light.
Notice how the 'dark' parts are never really dark, and there are small patches of light everywhere: The light is ultimately too strong.
5. The window represents light, but the real light, without which the window would be nothing at all, is shining outside - our sun.
All our attempts to represent or understand or approach God are only that - mere attempts: pictures, analogies, 'as-it-weres'. The real God always eludes our human grasp, but the very attempt, even though it fails, reassures us that we are at least encroaching on the outskirts of a huge reality.
'A man that looks on glass, on it may stay his eye, but, if he pleaseth, through it pass, and then the heaven espy' (George Herbert)
6. There is no green in the window - the artist had in mind the blending together of two congregations in our partnership: the blue and the red. So the window is very much about the potential for growth, rather than growth itself: the indispensible light, the yeast that can raise the dough, the seeds with all their potential and the salt which can cause chemical reactions but also, if we think of it as a fertiliser, stimulate growth.
Think of the state of the world, of your community and family, of yourself: where is the potential for growth? Where could the kingdom of God be brought into reality by the energy of the Holy Spirit?
7. (An idea for smaller people!) One of the pieces of glass in the 'Salt' section of the window is a prism and when the light falls just right, it casts a perfect rainbow inside the church. Can you find it?
Think of the story of Noah and the very first rainbow, God's special promise to us.
Think about how the many beautiful colours of the rainbow remind us that God loves us all equally, just like we should love each other.