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Window of the Month
Detroit Institute of Arts

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Window

Building Name: First United Methodist Church

Studio Name: Von Gerichten Studios

City: Kalamazoo

Window Shape: 6 (gothic arched, over 2 vertical sections)

Subject/Title of Window: Faith

Brief Description of Subject: The main symbolism of the Nave windows develops the Gifts of the Spirit: Faith, Hope, Love, Wisdom, Knowledge, Courage, Justice and Mercy. The Cross of Faith, the Anchor of Hope, the Burning Heart for Love, Burning Candle with the book of Wisdom, Burning Lamp of Knowledge, Oak Tree with crusader’s shield for Courage, the Sword and Scales for Justice, the Blunted Sword or broken Sword for Mercy. It is fitting that the emblems of the apostles should be used throughout these windows, as they were the “Distributors of the Word.” The window at the west end of the south side of the nave bears in its central panel a portrayal of the cross and crown. This reminds us of our Saviour who through his acceptance of the cross of sacrifice achieved at last the crown of victory over death. We are bidden to follow in his footsteps by the command, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10). To the right is a shield bearing an inverted cross, the symbol of the Apostle Peter, who suffered a martyr’s death, being crucified head downward. The cross upon which he died was inverted at his own request as he felt himself unworthy to die in the same manner as his Lord. Superimposed upon the cross are silver and gold keys, reminding us of the words of Jesus to Peter, (Matthew 16:19) “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” by which he signified that spiritual leadership which Peter exercised among the Disciples and which found its outstanding expression on the day of Pentecost. The shield on the left portrays the three storied ark, symbol of the Church, and with it the cross-hilted sword, symbol of aggressiveness. Taken together they suggest the Church Militant, of which our Lord said to Peter, (Matthew 16:18) “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” In the bottom center panel the shell with five drops of water is the symbol of the baptism of Christ, wherein He publicly declared His complete dedication to do the will of God. In the top center panel is the descending dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, which descended upon Jesus at His baptism. On either side of the dove, the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, are symbols of Him who is the beginning and the end of all things. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (Revelation 22:13).

Condition of Window: Very Good

Height: 50'?

Width: 12'?

Type of Glass and Technique: Antique or Cathedral Glass, Lead Came

Faith
Faith
Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega
Salvation
Salvation
Baptism
Baptism
Gifts of the Spirits windows, left
Gifts of the Spirits windows, left
Gifts of the Spirits windows exterior
Gifts of the Spirits windows exterior

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