Windows to Christ

Twenty Four Stained Glass Windows tell the story of Our Lord

Photos and Text by Raymond Perry ©2002 Collingswood Presbyterian Church

The inspiration and beauty of Collingswood Presbyterian Church’s stained glass windows are a testament to God’s love of all people. They provide a vivid reminder of God’s promise of redemption through the gift of his only son that all who believe will have eternal life.

Over the years, many stained glass windows have been installed in the church to the “Glory of God”. This book portrays the twenty-four panels, located on each side of the Sanctuary, that depict significant events in the life of Christ — from His Holy Birth to the Virgin Mary; his upbringing as the son of a carpenter; baptism by John the Baptist; his earthly ministry of teaching and healing; suffering under Pontius Pilate; crucifixion; death; rising from the dead; appearing to many persons; and then ascending into Heaven. Accompanying text describes each panel, and Biblical references are included.

The twenty-four panels portrayed in this book were installed in the 1960s and 1970s. They are antique stained glass designed in the style of the Gothic Revival. It is a period design revived in the nineteenth century. The glass is made by hand, using mouth-blowing techniques. When the glass is still in a molten state in a metal pot, chemicals are introduced to create a particular color. There are streaks, bubbles and striations in the glass and it is not of uniform thickness. The streaks, bubbles and striations break up the light as it passes through and creates vibrant highlights that make the glass sparkle. The varying thickness makes certain areas of the glass deeper and richer in color.

On a sunny day, the windows radiate sparkling colors that create a worshipful atmosphere.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

‘The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a virgin named Mary and said to her, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”  But she was greatly troubled. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus.” Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But an angel of the Lord appeared to him saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary for your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took Mary as his wife, but knew her not until she had borne a son, and he called his name Jesus.

A decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. Each should go to his own city for enrollment. Joseph went up from Nazareth to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David; to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And Mary gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger in the stable where they were staying, because there was no room in the inn.

According to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple to present him to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice, “a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.” There was a righteous man named Simeon to whom the Holy Spirit had revealed that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. He took the baby Jesus up in his arms : and blessed God and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel.”

Ref: Jn3:16. Lk1:26-35; Mt1:18-25. Lk2:1-20, Lk2:22-32

Baby Jesus was worshipped by Wise Men, escaped the terror of King Herod, and returned to Nazareth where He grew and became strong. He increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.

Three Wise Men from the East saw a brilliant new star in the heavens. Prophets had foretold this would be a sign of the birth of the new king of the Jews, so the Wise Men wanted to go honor him. The brilliant star led them to Jesus birthplace. They went inside and saw baby Jesus with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. King Herod had ordered the Wise Men to return and tell him the location of this king of the Jews. But they were warned in a dream that Herod meant to harm Jesus, so they returned to their own country by another way.

When the Wise Men had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod.

When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel.” He went and they dwelt in a city called Nazareth. And the child grew, learned the carpenter trade with his father Joseph, and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Ref: Mt2:1-12, Mt2:13-17, Mt2:19-23; Mt13:53-56; Mk6:3; Lk2:39-40

 Jesus, baptized by John, performed miracles and began His ministry of salvation, saying: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist. He went up immediately from the water and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

There was a marriage at Cana in Galilee. And the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was there with his disciples. When all the wine had been consumed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” Jesus replied, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Six stone jugs were standing there empty. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill them with water.” They did. Then Jesus said, “Draw some out, and take it to the steward.” When the steward tasted the water now become wine, he called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
A multitude followed Jesus to a lonely place on the shore of the Sea of Galilee because he was teaching and healing them. At the end of the day, Jesus told his disciples to feed them. But they had no food. One of his disciples, Andrew, said “There is a lad who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?” Jesus told the crowd to sit down. Then he took the loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he had the disciples distribute them to the more than five thousand people that were seated. After they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost.” They then filled twelve baskets with the leftovers. The people marveled and said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”

Ref: Mt3:13-17; Mk1:9-11; Lk3:21-22. Jn2:1-11, Mt14:13-21; Jn6:1-14 

Trust God and seek His kingdom. Follow Jesus, do His works. He has power to heal the sick and raise people from the dead.

Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my father on his throne.” He also said, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” And he promised, “For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” The painting depicts a door with no doorknob, symbolizing the door of our soul which must be opened from the inside. Shrubbery surrounds the doorway, signifying the many distractions in our lives which block our entrance to Him. But still Jesus beckons…he waits… 

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me. And I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. Jesus was on his way when someone came from the house and told Jairus that his daughter was dead and not to bother the teacher any more. But Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” When they came to Jairus’s house, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing” Jesus said, “She is not dead but asleep.” He took three of his disciples and the child’s father with him and went into the child’s room. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” At this they were astonished. He told them to give her something to eat, and gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this.

Ref: Rev3:20-21; Jn6:35&40, Mt4:18-20, Mt9:18-19&23-26; Mk5:21-24&35-43; Lk8:41-42&49-56

Jesus, The Good Shepherd, said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind Jesus answered, “It was not this man who sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be manifest in him.” While continuing his answer, Jesus spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” So he went and washed and came back seeing.

People were bringing children to Jesus, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them, because they wanted to protect Jesus from constant interruptions in his teachings. But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of god like a child shall not enter it.” And Jesus took the children in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them. 

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me, as the father knows me and I know the father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” 

Ref: Jn8:12. Jn9:1-7, Mt19:13-15; Mk10:13-16; Lk18:15-17, Jn10:11-18 

The Transfiguration ● Jesus enters Jerusalem on a colt and offers himself to His people ● The Last Supper with His disciples.

Jesus led Peter, James and John up a high mountain to pray. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then Moses and Elijah appeared, and talked with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish I will put up a shelter for each of you. While he was speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. He said, “Get up. Don’t be afraid.” They looked up and saw no one except Jesus.

As Jesus walked toward Jerusalem, he sent two of his disciples ahead, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead, and you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you why you are untying it, tell him The Lord needs it.” They did as they were told and brought the colt to Jesus, threw their cloaks on it, and Jesus sat on it to ride into Jerusalem. As he went along, large crowds of people spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds shouted, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!”

Jesus said to his disciples as they sat at the Passover table, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the Kingdom of God.” And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.” 

Ref: Mt17:1-13; Mk9:2-13; Lk9:28-36, Mt21:1-11; Mk11:1-11; Lk19:28-42; Jn12:12-19, Mt26:17-29; Mk:14:12-31; Lk22:7-22; Jn13:1-38 

Praying at Gethsemane: “Not My Will, but Thine, be Done” ● Jesus was tried by Pontius Pilate ● Crucified, Dead and Buried

Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. His disciples accompanied him. Jesus said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death.” Then he told them to stay there and watch while he went a short distance to pray.  sus prayed, “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” An angel came from heaven, strengthening him. When he rose from prayer, he found his disciples sleeping, and he said, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation, the spirit is indeed willing, but the
flesh is weak.”

 Priests of the temple had Jesus seized and bound, then led him to be tried by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Jerusalem. They charged that he had spoken against Caesar and corrupted the people with false teachings. Pilate said, “I find no crime in this man.” But the priests and the large crowd became unruly and shouted, “Crucify him!” Pilate, wishing to avoid a disturbance, took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood. It is your responsibility!” he said. The people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” Pilate then had Jesus flogged,
and handed him over to be crucified.

Jesus was marched to a place called Golgotha, where his hands and feet were nailed to the cross; and he was crucified. Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  There were two criminals being crucified beside him. One criminal mocked Jesus beca use he would not save them, but the other rebuked the first and asked Jesus to remember him in his heavenly kingdom. Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” About the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun was eclipsed. The earth shook, the temple curtain was torn from top to bottom. Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Then he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Truly this was the Son of God.”

Ref:  Mt26:36-46; Mk4:32-38; Lk22:39-46; Jnl8:1, Mt27:1-3; Mk15:1-20; Lk23: 1-25; Jn8:28-40; Mt27:32-56; Mk5:21-24; Lk23:26-49; Jn19:17-37

The Resurrection ● Jesus at Emmaus ● The Ascension

So morning, Mary Magdalene stood crying outside Jesus’ tomb after finding it empty. Inside the empty tomb two angels in white were seated where Jesus’ body had been: one at the head, the other at the foot. They asked why she was crying and she replied that she did not know where they had put her Lord. Jesus appeared and said, “Woman why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Not recognizing him, and thinking he was the gardener, she said she was looking for Jesus. He said to her, “Mary.” She cried out, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” 

Two men were walking to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking about the reported resurrection of Jesus, when Jesus himself approached and asked what they were discussing. They did not recognize him, and even though he was a stranger to them, they told him all that had happened. Cleopas, one of the two men, invited this stranger to eat with them in his house when they reached Emmaus. At the dinner table, Jesus took the bread and blessed, and broke it , and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him. Jesus disappeared immediately. They returned to Jerusalem that same night and told the disciples and everyone that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead and broken bread with them. 

In his last appearance to his disciples, Jesus instructed them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Then he led the disciples to the vicinity of Bethany, where he lifted up his hands and blessed them. After the Lord Jesus had blessed them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 

Ref: Jn20:1-18; Mt28:1-10; Mk16:1-11; Lk24:1-12, Lk24:13-35; Mk16:12-13, Mt28:16-20; Mk16:15-19; Lk24:50-52; Acts1:4-11