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  • Jim Etherton

A Window on the Gospel

Hartley Wintney Baptist Church Window

As you have passed the Baptist Church recently, you may have noticed something different. The big arched window above the door has been transformed to look like stained glass and is now illuminated with low energy lighting during the evening. We hope that you will agree that this helps brighten and improve the appearance of this end of the village (without any damage to the antique window glass!).

The window features a simple representation of the cross on which Jesus was executed. This reminds us that Jesus died in our place, suffering the punishment that we deserve for the wrong things we have thought, said and done – so that we don’t have to.

Coming out from the cross are rays of light. These remind us that Jesus is the light of the world. Although the cross was a place of suffering and death, at dawn on the third day Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus is alive forever and can bring light into the darkest places of our world and our lives.

The cross stands on a hill. This reminds us that the death of Jesus on the cross is a genuine historical fact. It took place in a real geographical location (on a hill outside Jerusalem) at a specific point in history (a Friday just after the spring equinox in about 30AD).

Either side of the central cross are two smaller crosses. These represent the crosses on which two criminals were executed on the same day as Jesus. These remind us that we can choose how we respond to Jesus. In Luke’s gospel we read that one of those criminals hurled insults at Jesus while the other recognised that Jesus was innocent while he himself was guilty and was getting what he deserved. This criminal asked for Jesus to remember him in his future kingdom – and Jesus said he would – in paradise. This is an amazing account of someone turning away from past mistakes and trusting in Jesus.

Next time you walk past the church, have a look up at the window and spend a moment reflecting on what it means for you.

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