Out of early life come the early stories, stories of patriarchs such as Abraham and Moses. We notice the ram in the thicket and tablets of stone. Here also the artist gives a northern version of the theophany of the burning bush: from a pinecone springs the holy flame which cradles a snowflake. How can it be burning but not consumed? Also we see honeycombs, hints of the land of milk and honey the people sought. And above, the Star of David as the people began to be a nation. Did you find the loons?
As the law became the way the prophets fought to keep the Word personal and relevant to the issues of the day. Notice above the open scriptures the fiery chariot of Elijah as he is swept heavenward amid Northern Lights. Notice below the scriptures the great whale's tailor the mallard or the porpoise. We enjoy the beauty of such life or of sunsets and northern evergreens, but would not the prophets be calling us to care for all this that we've been given? Who will be the Creation's stewards?
The Birth of Christ
This and the next three windows tell the particular story of the Gospel of Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrection. Here the Christ is born in a manger beneath his natal star while the Spirit of God hovers as a dove above him. The traditional letters “IHS” are an abbreviation for the Greek word for Jesus. The flower is a Christmas rose, symbolic of the nativity.
The Life of Christ
Fish and net, shepherd's staff and wheat, all reminds us of the life and ministry of our Lord. He shepherded his folk, multiplied loaves and fishes and made them “fishers of men”. The Greek letters, Іχθγζ , form the word Jesus. There are also thistles and dandelions as symbols of Christ's passion to come later.
Suffering & Death of Christ
Here we see many symbols of the events around Jesus' death: surrounding the cross are the crown of thorns and the spear that pierced his side. Notice also the ladder and nail pullers. The silver coins remind us of when Judas betrayed Jesus to the authorities. Notice also the lantern when they came to get him and the sword Peter used to cut off the ear of the High Priest's slave. The rooster reminds us of Peter's denial. The dice were used to decide who of the soldiers would get Jesus' seamless robe.
Resurrection of Christ
Now the cross is adorned with robes and beams of light which reach upward in victory. A butterfly hovers above as a symbol of transformed and liberated life. We also see the stone that has been rolled away and the empty tomb where Jesus' love the Mary of Magdalene had discovered him missing at first. The worst of death's symbols have been given a whole new meaning.
The Early Faith Community
The earliest Christian communities are symbolized by a tree of life, bearing fruit of great variety, for such are the fruit of the Spirit. A treble clef entwines the tree and a harp sits at its base to represent the praise and celebration of the communities. With the sunlight of Christ shining on the community its roots reach deep into fertile soil. The triangle at the bottom represents the solid and stable base of the Trinity. Notice also the hands of God and humanity reaching toward each other.
The Church in Our Time
Today the Church still has at the centre of its life the sacrament of Holy Communion, and from the cup the Spirit gives us life. On either side of the chalice are the fruits and grains of fellowship meals. Most striking above the chalice is the cross that becomes an industrial gear or vice versa, as our industry becomes both curse and blessing to our society. Beneath the chalice are symbols of our northern roots: canoe, paddle and axe, and in this context they make us ask what we've done with our beautiful setting. Still at the base is a trinity of fish, God in motion among us.
The Consummation of Time
The last window returns to the compass of the Creator. The Omega sign behind it and the overlapped Greek letters 'ehi' and 'rho' identify Jesus Christ as the endpoint for the creation. But the end is the beginning, as life flourishes in abundance and colour. At the base is a symbol of an atom and a water drop: ''as it was in the beginning it shall be", the water of life in delicate balance, preserved by God and a harmonious humanity.