I heard or read something in the past month about “the only real problem with stained glass windows is they face IN instead of OUT.”  It would make more sense to show the world outside the walls of the church the gospel rather then the people inside the church.

Wow that never occurred to me before.  When I think about some of the really beautiful old churches I have been in, that have lots of stained glass windows all depicting scenes from the Bible, it never occurred to me that they might be backwards. I mean they are beautiful artistic mnemonic device, visual liturgy, amazingly cool cliff notes. It’s easy to see that if you know the bible just a little you can retell big chunks of the gospel just by looking at the scenes depicted in the windows. In fact if you were especially studious in Sunday school you might be able to retell entire books of the Bible by just moving around the room window to window explaining each scene. As a visual artist I love the marriage of beauty and function.

It saddened me a little to hear someone call this art out, but what saddened me more was the realization that  2,000 years later we are still doing it. Seriously when was the last time a technical artist reached outside the walls of his church to share with the community? If you have I want to hear about it, really because I am looking for some ideas on how to make this change, and honestly I don’t have any answers. If you haven’t why not? Are you just like me, willing but unsure what to do? That’s fine but lets resolve to keep this in mind as we go through the work of the next couple of weeks and see if we can figure something out. Have you done anything to turn your stained glass around?

photo credit: Tobyotter via photopin cc