The Lilies of the Field
The large window at the west end of the narthex is divided by the balcony. Because this window is obscured by the balcony architecture, it is best viewed from the exterior of the church as no interior photograph is available. It was designed with a cluster of lilies at its bottom and a dove, visible from the outside, at the top. The window depicts Jesus’ call to release our anxieties and trust God’s care:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. (Matthew 6: 25-29)
The front-facing window on the west side of the narthex shows a dove sitting on a richly-bearing grape vine. The grape vine is another biblical symbol for Jesus Christ, who says,
I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
The window reminds us that we are to live as if we are so intimately connected to Christ that we spiritually become a part of him. And if each of us is connected to Christ, then we are joined together in a living and fruitful community. If apart from Christ we can do nothing, in Christ, we can do all things.
The front-facing window on the east side of the narthex, opening off the balcony stairs has a border of dark clouds and stormy seas. At its center, beams of light from above fall upon the water, calming the storm and restoring peace. The window is based upon Jesus’ calming of the storm in Mark’s gospel:
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across (the Sea of Galilee) to the other side. And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and waves beat into the boa, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” Then the wind ceased and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?”
The window holds no promise that God will still every storm in our lives and leave us with only smooth sailing. But it does remind us; the Lord we serve holds authority over all things and is with us in the midst of life’s storms.