Rose Window

The Rose Window above the balcony depicts six significant events in the life of Jesus.  The rose-shaped vignettes are grouped around a central rose showing a bright entrance or doorway, flanked symmetrically by the marble pillars of a temple, perhaps the new Jerusalem of Revelation 21.

1.      The Birth of Jesus- Luke 2:1-7

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.  This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, 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 while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered.  And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn”

God’s promised Messiah arrived not in a palace, but in a humble place.

2.      The Boy Jesus in the Temple- Luke 2:41-49

“Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.  And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem.  His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him.  After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.  And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you treated us so? Behold your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.’ And he said to them, ‘How is it that you sought me?  Did you not know that I would be in my Father’s house?’ “

This is the only incident the Gospels record from Jesus’ boyhood.  His absorbing interest in the things of God at the age of twelve sets the stage for his later ministry.

3.      Jesus in Gethsemane- Mark 14: 32-36

“And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I pray.’ And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.  And he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.’ And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.  And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.’ “

In his hour of decision, Jesus prays for release, but remains obedient.  Does the red of his robe hint of the impending sacrifice of his blood?

4.      The Crucifixion of Jesus- John 19: 17-18 and 25-27

“So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha.  There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them…but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ then he said to his disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”

Through the pain and suffering  of his final moments, Jesus cares for his mother.

5.      The Empty Tomb- John 20: 11-16

“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.  They said to her, ‘Woman, why are your weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’  Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?’  Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’  Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’  She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher).

Only the Gospel of John records this emotional moment when the resurrected Christ confronts the grieving Mary of Magdala.

6.      The Ascension of Jesus- Acts 1:6-9

“So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’  He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.’  And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of sight.”

Forty days after his resurrection from the tomb, Jesus instructs his disciples for the last time, commissioning them to carry his Good News of God’s love to the end of the earth.

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