Cornerstone, from our first day of existence, has been about the centrality of Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. What worshipers see every Sunday is a visual representation of Cornerstone’s purpose echoed in Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 2:2 “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” When the front of the worship center was designed, the architect placed the cross in the central panel behind the pulpit. The two windows on either side of the cross were, in the beginning, more of a visual challenge.
In 2007 when Cornerstone moved into our current worship space, the architect hurriedly cut geometric colored plastic pieces to cover the windows looking out. Then about five years ago an Italian artist (and Cornerstone member) offered to design and install some beautiful window coverings that carried the theme of growth with bright flowers on a vine. While it was a good step forward, the windows were still begging for some specific meaning that related to the cross.
In 2017 the idea was floated to let the four windows represent the four gospel writers who were/are the biblical witnesses to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. So with that as the overarching idea, the work began to express each gospel writer’s specific presentation of Jesus in the four windows.
Fortunately for Cornerstone, Judson Studios of Pasadena had just finished one of its largest stained glass projects at the Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City. This massive project, depicting the resurrected Jesus, consisted of 161 glass panels each measuring four feet by five feet! The same studio had won many awards for work done in such places as the chapel at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. A brand new technique for infusing glass with color had just been perfected in the Kansas City project and artist, Tim Carey, was ready for a new challenge. Bringing all of his artistic talents and technical expertise to the table, Tim Carey worked with Pastor Jerry and the elder board to deliver a “one of a kind” presentation of the four gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each window has significance and is based on the themes of the four gospels. Here is what you will see in each unique window.
"In 2017 the idea was floated to let the four windows represent the four gospel writers who were/are the biblical witnesses to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus."
MATTHEW: The first window on the left, represents the theme of the gospel of Matthew as Jesus the Messiah King. Matthew more than the other gospel writers presents Jesus to the Jewish reader as the promised Messiah and the King who fulfills God’s promise to King David that his throne would be a forever throne.
Window Theme: Jesus, Messiah King. Christ is seated on heaven’s throne, the throne promised to King David’s son. The throne is surrounded by the color emerald as depicted in Revelation 4:3.
Key Verse: Matthew 16:16 “You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God.”
MARK: The second window, represents Jesus as the servant of all who suffered and died for our sins. Mark’s gospel records more of Jesus’ miracles than any of the other writers. He quickly moves from scene to scene as if Mark was writing to someone on the go. Jesus is presented as the tireless, faithful and sacrificial servant.
Window Theme: Jesus, the Suffering Servant. Christ is on the cross with a lamb below Him representing how Jesus was the perfect sacrificial lamb slain for our sins.
Key Verse: Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Cornerstone has one more panel that must be colored in. This panel is also an important witness to the power and centrality of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. What might that panel be? Where could you find that panel? Take a minute right now and find a mirror. Look at yourself in the mirror and remember that you are a 21st-century witness to the powerful saving work of the cross. So let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. May the windows at the front of the worship center always remind you that Cornerstone Church, like the gospel writers, is a witness to the crucified, risen and ascended Christ.
LUKE: The third window presents Jesus in His great compassion for the needs of fallen humanity. Luke emphasizes Jesus as the virgin-born son of Mary, the perfect man. His love for all mankind and His care for the broken dominate the window theme. Luke’s gospel is unique in his frequent mentioning of women and the role they played in the life, death and resurrection appearances of Christ.
Window Theme: Jesus, Son of Man. Christ’s compassion for the poor, the prisoner, the spiritually blind and the oppressed are on display. Christ is shown supporting a wounded man’s head. A woman is visible farther down the panel because Luke focuses on the women who were critical to Jesus’ ministry.
Key Verse: Luke 4:18-19, 21 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
JOHN: The fourth window culminates with Jesus presented as the glorified Son of God. John’s gospel presents the deity of Jesus Christ on every page. John’s soaring prologue, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God,” sets the tone for the rest of his gospel which is directed to anyone who would believe.
Window Theme: The lofty introduction of John’s gospel is on display with Jesus in heavenly glory and the cosmos, which He created, to the lower left of the panel. We see Jesus, the Son of God, sovereignly ruling over the universe.
Verse: John 20:31 “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Photos courtesy of Judson Studios / Kyle Mickelson