The Witness of the Windows
The colonial simplicity of the sanctuary is enriched by an unusual set of memorial windows depicting Biblical characters and figures from ecclesiastical history. The windows portray the history and influence of the Judeo-Christian faith upon the institutions and people of succeeding generations. The general emphasis is on political, intellectual and religious ideas, yet each makes a decisive impression on modern man. For each, life meant a searching after truth and the Most High God. In the men depicted in the windows, we see God shedding his light on our dark way. In the Baut Studios in Kingston, where the windows were created in 1961, some of the full size drawings are emblazoned on the walls because the artists and craftsmen who created them consider them “exceptional.” Worshippers in St. John’s colonial sanctuary are literally surrounded by the history of the Christian Church. The windows are chronologically in order from left to right.
CHRIST IN GETHSEMANE
Above the resplendent red of the reredos and the soft gleam of brass altar fixtures, worshipers in St. John’s Church see Christ in Gethsemane.
The window in the sanctuary carries the message to all who behold it that the Son of Man, In the Garden, endured spiritual suffering and knew sorrow. It provides balm to the troubled and hope to the sorrowful.
In the beauty of St. John’s colonial sanctuary, Christ is the centerpiece.
Justification by Faith
The Holy Bible (NIV)
” But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3: 21-24).
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand” (Romans 5: 1-2b)
The Nicene Creed
St. Augustine et al; circa 325 AD
We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried; and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And we believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spake by the prophets. And we believe in one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Excepts from Luther’s Large Catechism
Martin Luther; circa 1522
(Faith) changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it has already done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever. He stumbles around and looks for faith and good works, even though he does not know what faith or good works are. Yet he gossips and chatters about faith and good works with many words. Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God’s grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire. Therefore, watch out for your own false ideas and guard against good-for-nothing gossips, who think they’re smart enough to define faith and works, but really are the greatest of fools. Ask God to work faith in you, or you will remain forever without faith, no matter what you wish, say or can do.