In every era, humankind tries to usurp the sovereign role of God. During the Renaissance (1300 to 1500 AD), the humanists challenged the basic teachings of the Church. In the present time, science through its child of technology, attempts to order life with a disregard for the spiritual dimension of creation.
The teaching of Teilhard De Chardin (1881-1955), a scientist, philosopher, and theologian is reflected in this window. He held that God created the earth but not in its final form. It was within God’s intention that humanity, the crown of God’s creation, should finish the work. The alpha (beginning), symbolizes God’s initiative in creation. The omega (ending), represents in this instance humanity’s responsible participation under God as a co-partner in the completion of the created order. But humankind has freewill and the capacity for good and evil. We can fulfill God’s plan for beauty, or we can tarnish, ruin, and destroy.
In the tracery on the right top is the creating hand of God, and on the left, is the cross, symbol of the Son. These are connected with the symbol of the Holy Spirit, the descending dove, and the lines forming a triangle, which is symbolic of the Holy Trinity.
In the center lancet are the figures of a man and woman, representing the eternal Adam and Eve. The color of the earth observed from space is blue, so the color of these figures is blue. They represent the people of the earth and not any particular race.
The man’s arms reach into the two side lancets. The woman’s one hand points to the “Alpha and the Omega ….who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). This monogram of God is embraced by the atomic cloud, which symbolizes God-created energy which man can use to better life or to destroy. At the bottom are the cross and the Word of God, with the emerging atomic cloud behind it, suggesting that there is a good use for nuclear power.
In the right lancet, the woman’s other hand restrains the destructive fist of the man. That destructive bent of humankind manifests itself when we refuse obedience to the working Spirit of God in the world. The end result is the ecological problem plaguing creation in the last half of the 20th century. This is depicted by stars blanked by smoke, ruined buildings, fire, dead trees, withered wheat and flowers, belching factory stacks, no birds, and skeletons of fish in polluted water.
The left lancet has the man’s other hand open, receptive to God’s spirit, and through responsible use of the earth, there is a blessing to the created order. Were humankind to live as a steward of life under the leading of the Holy Spirit, the earth would not be abused, but would flourish in beauty, cleanliness, and living things.
At the top of the three lancets, other gifts of the Spirit are noted: the physical and biological sciences, which help humankind better understand and utilize the secrets of life and the creation. On the right are symbols of electrical, chemical, mechanical, atomic, and radiant energy, suggesting that matter can be turned to energy and energy back to matter. On the left is the symbol of the DNA molecule, which mysteriously and miraculously carries the pattern for each living cell’s birth, development, and functioning.