Stain Glass Windows

The Story and Significance of  Highland Lutheran Church’s
“Stained Glass Windows”

These windows were all created by the members of Highland Lutheran Church who contributed generously of their time, talents and treasures.  We had a very faithful group who worked several hours each Wednesday evening for over a year to complete this project.

The windows were all installed by Lee Bosshardt who also did some designing and enlarged most of the designs for the patterns.

The windows were installed and dedicated in July, 1972.

At the time Highland Lutheran Church was faced with the problem of replacing the dreary bamboo curtains in our sanctuary, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine in their March 1970 issue, showed how to make stained glass candle lamps.

Seizing upon this idea, the Board of Trustees was approached for permission to try our hand at making a sample window.  This permission was granted and our Christmas Window was installed on December 21, 1970.

A couple of months later the Epiphany Window was installed.

At that point a formal committee was organized and Mrs. Kathy Bosshardt was appointed chairman.  Pastor A.F. Gerstmann, Mrs. Alice Coon and Mrs. Mary Lange were the other members.  Plans and designs were made up for all the windows.  On the south side of the sanctuary it was decided we would try to depict the life of Christ.

  • 1 The Prophecy Window

1 The Prophecy Window

The first window on the South side symbolizes the heavenly abode of God and his promise to mankind of the Savior.  In the Old Testament Christ was often referred to as the Branch, such as in Jeremiah 33:15 “in those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of Righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.”  Also Zechariah 3:8-9,“Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and they fellows that sis before thee; for they are men of good omen: behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch.  For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven facets; behold I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of Hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

We also depict in this window the angel of the Lord announcing the arrival of Christ.

2 The Christmas Window

You may read the familiar story of Christ’s birth in Matthew 2:1-11. We show in our window the humble shepherds gazing in wonder upon the town of Bethlehem being lit in awesome splendor by the Christmas Star.

3 The Epiphany Window

This window symbolizes the visit of the three wise men to the Christ child and their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. This is also told of in Matthew 2:1-11.

4 The Baptism Window

Symbolizing the baptism of Jesus we show the dove (the Holy Spirit), the shell, a symbol of baptism, and the Chi Rho Symbol representing Jesus in the Jordan River.  In Mark 1:9-11, we read: “Not long afterward Jesus came from Nazareth, in the region of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan. 

 As soon as Jesus came up out of the water he saw heaven opening and the Spirit coming down on him like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my own dear Son.  I am well pleased with you.”

5 The First Miracle Window

Next we show the First Miracle where Christ turned the water into wine. Please refer to John 2:1-11, which reads in part: “Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill these jars with water.’  They filled them to the brim, and then he told them, ‘Now draw some water out and take it to the man in charge of the feast.’  They took it to him and he tasted the water, which had turned into wine.”

6 The Calling of the Apostles

Next we show Jesus calling the Apostles, those twelve men selected by Jesus, to be with him, receive his training, be witnesses of the events of his life, and to preach his gospel.  We read of the calling of the first in Matthew 4:18-20, “As Jesus walked by Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers who were fishermen, Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew, catching fish in the lake with a net.  Jesus said to them, ‘Come with me and I will teach you to catch men.’  At once they left their nets and went with him.” 

At the top of this design is a 12 pointed star, a symbol of the 12 apostles.

7 The Sermon on the Mount Window

The most well-known part of this beloved sermon may be found in Matthew 5:1-12: ?Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.  And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”

Please refer to you Bible for the balance of these beautiful words.

8 The Resurrection Window

This shows the three crosses on the Hill of Calvery but concentrates on Easter Morn and the empty tomb.  Matthew 28:1-7 “After the Sabbath, as Sunday morning was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the grave.  Suddenly there was a strong earthquake; and angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled the stone away and sat on it.  His appearance was like lighting and his clothes were white as snow.”

Please refer to your Bible for the balance of this account of Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

9 The Pentecost Window

As it is told in Acts 2:1-4, we read: “When the day of Pentecost arrived, all the believers were gathered together in one place.  Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 

Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire spreading out; and each person there was touched by a tongue.  They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk-in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.”

10 The Mission Window

In Matthew 28:20, Jesus promised us: “And remember! I will be with you always, to the end of the age.

This design was the symbol of the 1970 Lutheran World Federation Assembly which considered the theme “Sent into the World” in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  The tall cross bisecting the center of the globe emphasizes the call for Christians to witness and serve in the world and also represents Christ in the world today.

11 The Agnus Dei Window

The first window on the north side of the sanctuary depicts the Lamb of God the Agnus Dei symbol of Jesus Christ.  John the Baptist said of him, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

Similar reference is made in the Book of Revelations, and subsequently in the great hymns and prayers of the church.  The Lamb here carries a resurrection banner or a white pennant with a red cross on the cruciform standard.

The white pennant represents the body of Christ, which is attached to the cruciform staff, representing the cross on which the Lamb of God died and through which the risen Christ saves the World.

12 The Burning Bush Window

This symbolic window represents God’s spoken word and his call to Moses to be his prophet.  See Exodus 3:1-6, which reads in part:

“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.  And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire and the bush was not consumed.”

13 The Communion Window

This window represents the blessed sacrament of Communion.  The cross on the rock from which the Living Water flows, symbolizes the blessings and the gifts of God whish flow constantly into the life of the believer through the Word and Sacrament.

The branches are symbolic of the communion between Jesus Christ (the Branch) and the believer.

14 The Heavenly Window

At the top of this window you see the symbol of the Triune God: God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Ghost. They are represented by the equal parts of a triangle and the three equal circles.

Beneath this symbol, we have the Crown of Glory and this is surrounded by the Psalms of Victory. Below are three stars symbolizing the stars of heaven.

15 The Marriage Window

This window represents the blessed Sacrament of Marriage and shows the two rings as emblems of the plighted troth; the cross to indicate Christ’s presence in a Christian marriage and the candles representing the light of the new home.

16 The Ten Commandments Window

Here we show the two stone tables on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed, representing God?s written Word to his people.  Exodus 31:18, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tablets of stone, written with-the finger of God.” Psalm 119:105 says “They word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

17 The Peace Window

Our last window shows a torch on the left, which refers to youth’s relation to the past and its obligation to bear the light of truth through the current age to the coming age.

At the right we have an acrostic, made up of the words, PEACE, AGAPE, LOVE and JOY.  If we have the agape love (love of God and God-like unselfish love for others) then we will gain for ourselves joy and peace.

18 The Fellowship Hall Window

The window in the Fellowship Hall was created for Highland Lutheran Church’s 100th Anniversary.  It also notes Martin Luther’s 500th anniversary.

This window was designed and created by Lee and Kathy Bosshardt.  Kathy wrote, “To me, this is what the window represents and what is said to me as Lee and I worked on the design.  First, Martin Luther’s 500th anniversary; Second, Highland’s 100th anniversary; and Third, the window seemed to say to me, ‘Remember all the things God has given to his people – Christ, Martin Luther – the earth and all that is in it; 100 years at Highland Lutheran Church of faithful pastors and parishioners and hope for the future.'”