My favorite stained glass in our church’s sanctuary is a pair of Tiffany windows. Two angels appear at the top – strong and victorious with fire ablaze and light all around. They are blowing trumpets, heralding good news.
Just below these angels is more stained glass depicting a Bible story. Jesus is with Mary and Martha. It’s dusk. The scene appears quiet and still. Ominous even, depending on what you make of the twists of the bare tree branches and the colors of the sky in Tiffany’s signature swirl. (Tiffany could blend colors together within one pane of glass.)
The sisters are peering inside the tomb of their dead brother Lazarus, while Jesus calls him forth from the grave. Mary and Martha don’t know what’s happening in the spiritual realm right above them. But you can tell from these fierce and holy angels that all heaven is breaking loose in response to Lazarus’ resurrection. Clearly what happens on earth and what happens in heaven are intimately connected.
My reflection on these stained glass windows grew out of an exercise led by the Rev. Posey Krakowsky, an artist, teacher and priest at the Church of the Ascension here in New York City. Posey came to Incarnation as part of a diocesan group and helped me see these windows anew. I am pleased to invite her back to offer a workshop for our parish.
Please plan to join us for “The Contemplative Gaze” on Sunday, May 15, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Our religious art is one of Incarnation’s greatest assets. I look forward to using it as a spiritual resource for deepening our devotion to God and connection to one another.