Saturday, April 19, 2014  

 

 

Symbolism in First United Methodist Church

Signs and symbols speak a language that is limited only by a person's experiences and imagination. To Christians of all continents the cross bespeaks a common language. Likewise a picture can bring to mind the events which surrounded it. Shapes, colors, numbers, and gestures all aid in this language of symbolism. Even the vestments worn by the minister are a part of this language.

In our church as in nearly all Protestant Churches, we have the two candles and a cross on the altar table. The two candles when lighted proclaim the words of Christ, "I am the light of the world." They also symbolize the twofold nature of our Lord - human and divine. The empty cross has come to be the mark or sign of the Christian religion; but it reminds us specifically of the life of Christ, His ministry, his death on the cross, His resurrection and hence it is the symbol of our salvation and redemption.

The two flags in our church also have special meaning. The Christian flag has the cross which speaks of God's infinite love for man; its blue background stands for the sincerity and faithfulness of our Lord; and the white color declares His purity. The American flag encourages up to pray for our country, that it may be noble in policy and deed, and become more surely an instrument in the hands of God for the establishing of righteousness and peace. When the American flag is displayed outside the chancel it is placed in the position of honor at the right of the congregation. The Christian flag is placed at the left of the congregation.

Most of the symbolism in our church will be found in the beautiful stained glass windows. A rose window, over the choir loft and visible to the congregation, symbolizes the four Gospel writers. Each of the ten windows have two medallions - a figured medallion depicting some event in the life of Christ and a symbol medallion. All of the windows were gifts to the church. Their location is as follows: 

 SOUTH WALL

The Nativity
Calling the Disciples
Mary and Martha
Entry into Jerusalem
Crucifixion (east)

 NORTH WALL

Christ in the Temple
The Baptism
Healing the Sick
Gethsemane
Resurrection (east)

The border of these windows is the dogwood flower and oak leaf. There is a legend familiar to all that the dogwood, which once grew tall and firm, was the tree used for the cross. The oak, because of its solidity and endurance, is a symbol of strength and faith and virtue, and of the endurance of the Christian against adversity.

A description of the windows follows.

Symbolism in First United Methodist Church

Signs and symbols speak a language that is limited only by a person's experiences and imagination. To Christians of all continents the cross bespeaks a common language. Likewise a picture can bring to mind the events which surrounded it. Shapes, colors, numbers, and gestures all aid in this language of symbolism. Even the vestments worn by the minister are a part of this language.

In our church as in nearly all Protestant Churches, we have the two candles and a cross on the altar table. The two candles when lighted proclaim the words of Christ, "I am the light of the world." They also symbolize the twofold nature of our Lord - human and divine. The empty cross has come to be the mark or sign of the Christian religion; but it reminds us specifically of the life of Christ, His ministry, his death on the cross, His resurrection and hence it is the symbol of our salvation and redemption.

The two flags in our church also have special meaning. The Christian flag has the cross which speaks of God's infinite love for man; its blue background stands for the sincerity and faithfulness of our Lord; and the white color declares His purity. The American flag encourages up to pray for our country, that it may be noble in policy and deed, and become more surely an instrument in the hands of God for the establishing of righteousness and peace. When the American flag is displayed outside the chancel it is placed in the position of honor at the right of the congregation. The Christian flag is placed at the left of the congregation.

Most of the symbolism in our church will be found in the beautiful stained glass windows. A rose window, over the choir loft and visible to the congregation, symbolizes the four Gospel writers. Each of the ten windows have two medallions - a figured medallion depicting some event in the life of Christ and a symbol medallion. All of the windows were gifts to the church. Their location is as follows: 

 SOUTH WALL

The Nativity
Calling the Disciples
Mary and Martha
Entry into Jerusalem
Crucifixion (east)

 NORTH WALL

Christ in the Temple
The Baptism
Healing the Sick
Gethsemane
Resurrection (east)

The border of these windows is the dogwood flower and oak leaf. There is a legend familiar to all that the dogwood, which once grew tall and firm, was the tree used for the cross. The oak, because of its solidity and endurance, is a symbol of strength and faith and virtue, and of the endurance of the Christian against adversity.

A description of the windows follows.

THE ROSE WINDOW

Given by: Mr. and Mrs. Richard H. Hussey, Sr. In Honor Of Our Children - Rick, Linda, Helen, Brooks, Lydia and Michael.

The circular window seen in the back of the chancel is divided into four equal sections by the arms of the Latin Cross. These sections have symbols representing the four Gospel writers. The vision of Ezekiel 1:5, 10 '... out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures... as for the likeness of their faces the four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion... the face of an ox... the face of an eagle,' was interpreted as referring to the four evangelists.

WINGED MAN - as one looks at the window, in the upper left corner is the symbol of St. Matthew, WINGED MAN holding a SCROLL. MAN is the symbol for St. Matthew's Gospel because it is felt he emphasizes the human side of the life of Jesus more than the other three. The WINGS indicate a divine mission, and, of course, the SCROLL is representative of a writer.

WINGED LION - as one looks at the window, in the lower left corner is the symbol for St. Mark, WINGED LION also with a SCROLL. The vigor, courage, and kingly quality of the life of our Lord is suggested by the LION. Mark, in his Gospel, dwells most fully upon the Resurrection of Christ. The LION has become associated with the Resurrection because legendary natural history states that young lions are born dead, but come to life 3 days after birth when breathed upon by their sire. (See above explanation for WINGS and SCROLL).

WINGED OX - looking at the window from the congregation, one sees in the lower right side the winged ox, the symbol for St. Luke. In his writings, Dr. Luke places emphasis upon sacrificial aspects of our Lord's atonement as well as upon His divine priesthood. The OX, a sacrificial animal was accepted in early Christian writings as a symbol for Christ, the true sacrifice. (See above explanation for WINGS and SCROLL).

WINGED EAGLE - completing the full circle, in the upper right section of the window one sees the WINGED EAGLE WITH SCROLL. Like an EAGLE soaring in the upper sky, St. John, in his Gospel, soars upward in his contemplation of the divine nature of the Savior. (See above explanation for WINGS and SCROLL).

The shape of the window, the CIRCLE, is symbolic of eternity and never ending existence.

The LATIN CROSS divides the CIRCLE into four equal sections, with the arms of the CROSS extending beyond the CIRCLE. There are many forms of the CROSS, but the LATIN is the one most often seen and is one of the oldest Christian forms. It is, of course, the symbol for Christ because of His sacrifice upon the Cross.

THE ROSE WINDOW

Given by: Mr. and Mrs. Richard H. Hussey, Sr. In Honor Of Our Children - Rick, Linda, Helen, Brooks, Lydia and Michael.

The circular window seen in the back of the chancel is divided into four equal sections by the arms of the Latin Cross. These sections have symbols representing the four Gospel writers. The vision of Ezekiel 1:5, 10 '... out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures... as for the likeness of their faces the four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion... the face of an ox... the face of an eagle,' was interpreted as referring to the four evangelists.

WINGED MAN - as one looks at the window, in the upper left corner is the symbol of St. Matthew, WINGED MAN holding a SCROLL. MAN is the symbol for St. Matthew's Gospel because it is felt he emphasizes the human side of the life of Jesus more than the other three. The WINGS indicate a divine mission, and, of course, the SCROLL is representative of a writer.

WINGED LION - as one looks at the window, in the lower left corner is the symbol for St. Mark, WINGED LION also with a SCROLL. The vigor, courage, and kingly quality of the life of our Lord is suggested by the LION. Mark, in his Gospel, dwells most fully upon the Resurrection of Christ. The LION has become associated with the Resurrection because legendary natural history states that young lions are born dead, but come to life 3 days after birth when breathed upon by their sire. (See above explanation for WINGS and SCROLL).

WINGED OX - looking at the window from the congregation, one sees in the lower right side the winged ox, the symbol for St. Luke. In his writings, Dr. Luke places emphasis upon sacrificial aspects of our Lord's atonement as well as upon His divine priesthood. The OX, a sacrificial animal was accepted in early Christian writings as a symbol for Christ, the true sacrifice. (See above explanation for WINGS and SCROLL).

WINGED EAGLE - completing the full circle, in the upper right section of the window one sees the WINGED EAGLE WITH SCROLL. Like an EAGLE soaring in the upper sky, St. John, in his Gospel, soars upward in his contemplation of the divine nature of the Savior. (See above explanation for WINGS and SCROLL).

The shape of the window, the CIRCLE, is symbolic of eternity and never ending existence.

The LATIN CROSS divides the CIRCLE into four equal sections, with the arms of the CROSS extending beyond the CIRCLE. There are many forms of the CROSS, but the LATIN is the one most often seen and is one of the oldest Christian forms. It is, of course, the symbol for Christ because of His sacrifice upon the Cross.

THE NATIVITY

Given: In Honor of our Mother, Mrs. David F. Owens, Sr. and In Memory of our Father, Mr. David F. Owens, Sr., By Their Children

The infant Jesus is seen on the straw in the manger, depicting the stable in which He was born. Mary and Joseph are on either side of the Baby, kneeling in adoration and wonderment. The manger suggests the lowly birth of our Savior, who, for humanity's sake, became poor, that we, through his poverty, might become rich.

The Star of Bethlehem stands in the sky over the manger. Its beam of light shines directly over the Baby. It is the star which guided the Wise Men to Bethlehem and to the Baby in the manger.

The city is in the background, and even though it must have been crowded on the night, it is small and insignificant when compared to the happening in the manger.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION, THREE CROWNS WITH A STAR - St. Matthew tells of the wise men from the East who came to Jerusalem at the time of Christ's birth seeking Him, and the star that went before them showing the way.

The three crowns are symbols of the three wise men or magi. They are sometimes represented as kings because of the passage in Psalms which reads, "The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents... all kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve Him' (Psalms 72:10, 11). The Church's season celebrating the Visitation of Magi is Epiphany, which means the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. This signifies the spreading of Christianity to all lands, to all peoples, for all ages. Thus the magi are frequently represented as youth, middle age, and old age. One is usually dark skinned. Their gifts to the Christ Child have a symbolic meaning: gold to a King, frankincense to One Divine and myrrh, the emblem of death, to a Sufferer.

To the Christian, these gifts represent the offering to Christ of wealth and energy, adoration, and self-sacrifice.

THE NATIVITY

Given: In Honor of our Mother, Mrs. David F. Owens, Sr. and In Memory of our Father, Mr. David F. Owens, Sr., By Their Children

The infant Jesus is seen on the straw in the manger, depicting the stable in which He was born. Mary and Joseph are on either side of the Baby, kneeling in adoration and wonderment. The manger suggests the lowly birth of our Savior, who, for humanity's sake, became poor, that we, through his poverty, might become rich.

The Star of Bethlehem stands in the sky over the manger. Its beam of light shines directly over the Baby. It is the star which guided the Wise Men to Bethlehem and to the Baby in the manger.

The city is in the background, and even though it must have been crowded on the night, it is small and insignificant when compared to the happening in the manger.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION, THREE CROWNS WITH A STAR - St. Matthew tells of the wise men from the East who came to Jerusalem at the time of Christ's birth seeking Him, and the star that went before them showing the way.

The three crowns are symbols of the three wise men or magi. They are sometimes represented as kings because of the passage in Psalms which reads, "The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents... all kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve Him' (Psalms 72:10, 11). The Church's season celebrating the Visitation of Magi is Epiphany, which means the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. This signifies the spreading of Christianity to all lands, to all peoples, for all ages. Thus the magi are frequently represented as youth, middle age, and old age. One is usually dark skinned. Their gifts to the Christ Child have a symbolic meaning: gold to a King, frankincense to One Divine and myrrh, the emblem of death, to a Sufferer.

To the Christian, these gifts represent the offering to Christ of wealth and energy, adoration, and self-sacrifice.

CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE

Given: In Memoriam, "Pepper" A. J. Geddings, Jr. and "Tiny" James A. Taylor, By the Frank Beckham Family.

Jesus, even as a boy of 12, is dressed here in white robe, symbolic of purity.

The Holy Family lived in the village of Nazareth after their return from Egypt. When Jesus was 12 years old, His family took Him to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. As the family was on the return journey, they found that the lad was not with them. Hurrying back to Jerusalem, they found Him in the Temple, surrounded by the doctors, or Jewish Rabbis, with whom He was in deep discussion (Luke 2:41 ff). This scene is usually called "Christ Among the Doctors."

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: THE LAMP - The lamp, because of the light it sheds, is used as a symbol of wisdom and piety.

CHRIST IN THE TEMPLE

Given: In Memoriam, "Pepper" A. J. Geddings, Jr. and "Tiny" James A. Taylor, By the Frank Beckham Family.

Jesus, even as a boy of 12, is dressed here in white robe, symbolic of purity.

The Holy Family lived in the village of Nazareth after their return from Egypt. When Jesus was 12 years old, His family took Him to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. As the family was on the return journey, they found that the lad was not with them. Hurrying back to Jerusalem, they found Him in the Temple, surrounded by the doctors, or Jewish Rabbis, with whom He was in deep discussion (Luke 2:41 ff). This scene is usually called "Christ Among the Doctors."

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: THE LAMP - The lamp, because of the light it sheds, is used as a symbol of wisdom and piety.

THE BAPTISM

Given by: Mr. and Mrs. Charles Foster Smith, Dianne, Rebecca and Caroline.

Mark states that 'John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey.' He was the immediate forerunner of Jesus; the son of the aged priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, who was Mary's cousin. John was about three months older than Jesus. He was an ascetic; his was a wilderness ministry. The Jordan River was the main scene of his actions.

The baptism of Jesus is recorded in all the Synoptic Gospels and corroborated in John's Gospel.

John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness of Judea, prophesying the coming of the Savior. Many came out to him from Jerusalem and other places in Judea and were baptized by him on the River Jordan. (See Matt. 3:13 ff). John was cast into prison by Herod and ultimately beheaded to please Salome.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: SHELL - In Christian symbolism the shell denotes pilgrimage.

THE BAPTISM

Given by: Mr. and Mrs. Charles Foster Smith, Dianne, Rebecca and Caroline.

Mark states that 'John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey.' He was the immediate forerunner of Jesus; the son of the aged priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, who was Mary's cousin. John was about three months older than Jesus. He was an ascetic; his was a wilderness ministry. The Jordan River was the main scene of his actions.

The baptism of Jesus is recorded in all the Synoptic Gospels and corroborated in John's Gospel.

John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness of Judea, prophesying the coming of the Savior. Many came out to him from Jerusalem and other places in Judea and were baptized by him on the River Jordan. (See Matt. 3:13 ff). John was cast into prison by Herod and ultimately beheaded to please Salome.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: SHELL - In Christian symbolism the shell denotes pilgrimage.

THE CALLING OF THE FIRST TWO APOSTLES

Given by: Mr. and Mrs. J. Herbert Forester, In Memory and Honor of Their Parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. D. Forester and Mr. and Mrs. L. R. F. Preysz.

Christ is beckoning the two fishermen and pointing toward the shore where they could become fishers of men. The two men, having left their boat in the background, are walking up out of the water toward Jesus. Notice how muscular they are. Fishing was a hard life of manual labor.

St. Matthew, in his Gospel, relates how Peter and Andrew were called to the apostalate: "And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. And He said unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightaway left their nets and followed him." (Matt. 4:18 ff).

Jesus is robed in white, symbolic of innocence of soul, of purity and of holiness of life.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: THREE FISHES - The fish is often given as an attribute to Peter and Andrew, an allusion to their being fishermen. The most frequent use of the fish is as a symbol for Christ. This is because the 5 Greek letters forming the word fish are the initial letters of the 5 words, "Jesus Christ Son of God Savior."

Three is a significant number in the Bible. It has been called the number of completion, expressive of a beginning, a middle, and an end. In Christian symbolism, it suggests the Trinity and also the 3 days that Christ spent in the tomb. Green is the color of vegetation and therefore symbolizes the triumph of spring over winter, or life over death.

To believe in Christ in the early centuries was dangerous. Therefore, the Christians agreed on the fish as a secret sign to identify one another. It was because the symbol was difficult to understand that it was precious.

THE CALLING OF THE FIRST TWO APOSTLES

Given by: Mr. and Mrs. J. Herbert Forester, In Memory and Honor of Their Parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. D. Forester and Mr. and Mrs. L. R. F. Preysz.

Christ is beckoning the two fishermen and pointing toward the shore where they could become fishers of men. The two men, having left their boat in the background, are walking up out of the water toward Jesus. Notice how muscular they are. Fishing was a hard life of manual labor.

St. Matthew, in his Gospel, relates how Peter and Andrew were called to the apostalate: "And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. And He said unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightaway left their nets and followed him." (Matt. 4:18 ff).

Jesus is robed in white, symbolic of innocence of soul, of purity and of holiness of life.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: THREE FISHES - The fish is often given as an attribute to Peter and Andrew, an allusion to their being fishermen. The most frequent use of the fish is as a symbol for Christ. This is because the 5 Greek letters forming the word fish are the initial letters of the 5 words, "Jesus Christ Son of God Savior."

Three is a significant number in the Bible. It has been called the number of completion, expressive of a beginning, a middle, and an end. In Christian symbolism, it suggests the Trinity and also the 3 days that Christ spent in the tomb. Green is the color of vegetation and therefore symbolizes the triumph of spring over winter, or life over death.

To believe in Christ in the early centuries was dangerous. Therefore, the Christians agreed on the fish as a secret sign to identify one another. It was because the symbol was difficult to understand that it was precious.

JESUS WITH MARY AND MARTHA

Given: In Memory Of Birdie K. Ward and In Honor Of L'Nora Misenheimer.

Jesus often visited this home in Bethany, just outside Jerusalem. These sisters, no doubt, were good friends of His. He raised their brother, Lazarus, from the dead. During the first two nights of Passion Week when He was so troubled, He went to this home for rest. From this home Mary went to anoint Him with ointment, giving Him devotion He sorely needed. We see Martha here with a bowl of fruit, in token of her housewifely qualities, while Mary is wholly attentive to Jesus. Martha seems to be saying, "Look at her just sitting there while I do all the work." Then Jesus draws the revealing contrast between the single-minded worship of Mary and the devoted service of Martha.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: HEART WITH STAFF - The heart was considered to be the source of understanding, love, courage, devotion, sorrow and joy. The staff reminds one that shepherding or work is necessary in the work of the Kingdom; but it is work that is done with understanding, love and devotion.

JESUS WITH MARY AND MARTHA

Given: In Memory Of Birdie K. Ward and In Honor Of L'Nora Misenheimer.

Jesus often visited this home in Bethany, just outside Jerusalem. These sisters, no doubt, were good friends of His. He raised their brother, Lazarus, from the dead. During the first two nights of Passion Week when He was so troubled, He went to this home for rest. From this home Mary went to anoint Him with ointment, giving Him devotion He sorely needed. We see Martha here with a bowl of fruit, in token of her housewifely qualities, while Mary is wholly attentive to Jesus. Martha seems to be saying, "Look at her just sitting there while I do all the work." Then Jesus draws the revealing contrast between the single-minded worship of Mary and the devoted service of Martha.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: HEART WITH STAFF - The heart was considered to be the source of understanding, love, courage, devotion, sorrow and joy. The staff reminds one that shepherding or work is necessary in the work of the Kingdom; but it is work that is done with understanding, love and devotion.

HEALING THE SICK

Given: In Honor Of Our Three Daughters - Deborah, DeEtte and Joean, By Mr. and Mrs. Henry L. Ingram, Jr., 1969.

This window depicts an area of Jesus' ministry: namely that of His miracles and here specifically the miracles of physical healing.

During the short ministry of Christ on earth, we read of His great healing powers, not only spiritually and mentally, but physically as well. John 4:46-54 tells us the story of a nobleman's son who was sick at Capernaum and the miracle Jesus performed while in Cana at that time. His words, "Thy son liveth," were far-reaching, not only in distance but in the healing of the boy himself.

Jesus said to the impotent man who had had an infirmity for thirty-eight years, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." (John 5:1-9). Matthew 8:14 tells of the cleansed leper - "... be thou clean." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

The blind, the lame, the dumb, the lepers - all crossed His path. The blind were made to see, the dumb could speak, withered hands and bodies were made whole.

Luke 5:18-25 records the story of how He heals a palsied man let down through the roof.

"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." (Matthew 9:35).

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: TORCH WITH CRUTCHES - The burning torch with the crutches signifies the witnessing of Christians through the ministry of healing. In Matt. 5 we read, "Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

HEALING THE SICK

Given: In Honor Of Our Three Daughters - Deborah, DeEtte and Joean, By Mr. and Mrs. Henry L. Ingram, Jr., 1969.

This window depicts an area of Jesus' ministry: namely that of His miracles and here specifically the miracles of physical healing.

During the short ministry of Christ on earth, we read of His great healing powers, not only spiritually and mentally, but physically as well. John 4:46-54 tells us the story of a nobleman's son who was sick at Capernaum and the miracle Jesus performed while in Cana at that time. His words, "Thy son liveth," were far-reaching, not only in distance but in the healing of the boy himself.

Jesus said to the impotent man who had had an infirmity for thirty-eight years, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." (John 5:1-9). Matthew 8:14 tells of the cleansed leper - "... be thou clean." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

The blind, the lame, the dumb, the lepers - all crossed His path. The blind were made to see, the dumb could speak, withered hands and bodies were made whole.

Luke 5:18-25 records the story of how He heals a palsied man let down through the roof.

"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." (Matthew 9:35).

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: TORCH WITH CRUTCHES - The burning torch with the crutches signifies the witnessing of Christians through the ministry of healing. In Matt. 5 we read, "Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

THE ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM

Given: In Loving Memory of our Parents, William E. Cameron, Sr. and Guy Skipper Cameron. By The Family of C. Donald Cameron.

Jesus, clothed in red and white, rides upon the ass into the city. This animal, mentioned in early Biblical records and still in common usage in the twentieth century, is an ever willing burden bearer. White asses were mounts of royalty as suggested in Song of Deborah (Judges 5:10). Hence Jesus' use of the ass was a symbol of both messianic kingliness and of humility.

Those hailing Jesus and waiving palm branches represent the young and the old, men and women.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: PALM LEAVES - In Christian symbolism (and non-Christian, too), the palm denotes victory (John 12:12-13).

THE ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM

Given: In Loving Memory of our Parents, William E. Cameron, Sr. and Guy Skipper Cameron. By The Family of C. Donald Cameron.

Jesus, clothed in red and white, rides upon the ass into the city. This animal, mentioned in early Biblical records and still in common usage in the twentieth century, is an ever willing burden bearer. White asses were mounts of royalty as suggested in Song of Deborah (Judges 5:10). Hence Jesus' use of the ass was a symbol of both messianic kingliness and of humility.

Those hailing Jesus and waiving palm branches represent the young and the old, men and women.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: PALM LEAVES - In Christian symbolism (and non-Christian, too), the palm denotes victory (John 12:12-13).

GETHSEMANE

Given: In Loving Memory of Eugene Martin Cooke. Presented by His Wife, Mrs. Mary Register Cooke and His Daughter, Mrs. Anne Cooke Jenkins 1887-1957.

After the Last Supper, Christ, knowing of the betrayal of Judas, retired with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane.

There He took Peter, James and John a little apart with Him. He asked them to wait for Him and watch, while He went by Himself to commune with God. After He prayed, He returned to find the three disciples asleep and said, "... what, could ye not watch with me one hour?" (Matt. 26:40). Twice more Christ left the disciples to watch while He reconciled His soul to death, and each time when He returned He found the disciples sleeping.

As they were leaving the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives, the multitude appeared, and He was identified by Judas' kiss, then arrested by the authorities.

All of these things which were to happen were very much on His mind and heart as He knelt to pray alone in Gethsemane.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: LANTERN - The lantern is a symbol of the betrayal (John 18:3).

GETHSEMANE

Given: In Loving Memory of Eugene Martin Cooke. Presented by His Wife, Mrs. Mary Register Cooke and His Daughter, Mrs. Anne Cooke Jenkins 1887-1957.

After the Last Supper, Christ, knowing of the betrayal of Judas, retired with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane.

There He took Peter, James and John a little apart with Him. He asked them to wait for Him and watch, while He went by Himself to commune with God. After He prayed, He returned to find the three disciples asleep and said, "... what, could ye not watch with me one hour?" (Matt. 26:40). Twice more Christ left the disciples to watch while He reconciled His soul to death, and each time when He returned He found the disciples sleeping.

As they were leaving the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives, the multitude appeared, and He was identified by Judas' kiss, then arrested by the authorities.

All of these things which were to happen were very much on His mind and heart as He knelt to pray alone in Gethsemane.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: LANTERN - The lantern is a symbol of the betrayal (John 18:3).

CRUCIFIXION

Given: In Loving Memory Of My Father, John Robert Huss, By John Robert Huss, III.

Judas has betrayed;
Peter has denied;
Chief priests and elders have accused;
Pilate has reluctantly bowed to the mob;
The trial is over;
The sentence is passed;
The punishment is enforced;
The soldiers have mocked;
One thief has rebelled;
The other has repented;
The nails have been driven into his hands and feet;
And now He hangs on the cross;

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: CROWN OF THORNS - The crown of thorns placed on Jesus' head was a mockery of the One who said he was King of the Jews. The thorn expressed the idea of a fruitless nuisance, choking the good seeds.

The Roman emperor would wear a crown of roses on special occasions. The King of the Jews would have a crown, too - made of this lowly, pesty thorn.

CRUCIFIXION

Given: In Loving Memory Of My Father, John Robert Huss, By John Robert Huss, III.

Judas has betrayed;
Peter has denied;
Chief priests and elders have accused;
Pilate has reluctantly bowed to the mob;
The trial is over;
The sentence is passed;
The punishment is enforced;
The soldiers have mocked;
One thief has rebelled;
The other has repented;
The nails have been driven into his hands and feet;
And now He hangs on the cross;

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: CROWN OF THORNS - The crown of thorns placed on Jesus' head was a mockery of the One who said he was King of the Jews. The thorn expressed the idea of a fruitless nuisance, choking the good seeds.

The Roman emperor would wear a crown of roses on special occasions. The King of the Jews would have a crown, too - made of this lowly, pesty thorn.

RESURRECTION

Given: In Loving Memory Of John Thomas Rutledge, Jr. Presented By His Parents, Dr. and Mrs. John Thomas Rutledge 1933-1944.

But the cross was not the End - Alleulia, Christ arose! The first person to whom Christ is reported to have appeared is Mary Magdalene when she went to His tomb. She did not recognize Him, but supposed Him to be the gardener until He spoke her name. John records it as follows: 'Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith until Him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.'

We see here Mary in the garden as she recognizes the risen Lord. The print of the nails are visible in His hands.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: BUTTERFLY - The butterfly is a symbol of the Resurrection of Christ. In a more general sense the butterfly may symbolize the resurrection of all men. This meaning is derived from the three stages of its life as represented by the caterpillar, the chrysalis, and the butterfly which are symbols of life, death, and resurrection.

Compiled by Miss Olene Civils, D.C.E.
Digitalized April 2009

 


RESURRECTION

Given: In Loving Memory Of John Thomas Rutledge, Jr. Presented By His Parents, Dr. and Mrs. John Thomas Rutledge 1933-1944.

But the cross was not the End - Alleulia, Christ arose! The first person to whom Christ is reported to have appeared is Mary Magdalene when she went to His tomb. She did not recognize Him, but supposed Him to be the gardener until He spoke her name. John records it as follows: 'Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith until Him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father.'

We see here Mary in the garden as she recognizes the risen Lord. The print of the nails are visible in His hands.

SYMBOLIC MEDALLION: BUTTERFLY - The butterfly is a symbol of the Resurrection of Christ. In a more general sense the butterfly may symbolize the resurrection of all men. This meaning is derived from the three stages of its life as represented by the caterpillar, the chrysalis, and the butterfly which are symbols of life, death, and resurrection.

Compiled by Miss Olene Civils, D.C.E.
Digitalized April 2009

 


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