by Melinda Creech, guest blogger for Lent
Aschbacher reports in her book, Seventy Years in the Kingdom, that when they sold the original Westminster Presbyterian Church building at the corner of Garden and King William in 1927, they retained possession of some of the fixtures, including "all art glass windows."
The church had been built in 1891 and added on to in 1899. It was the first English speaking Protestant church on the south side of San Antonio. In 1927 the church decided to move a little further out, purchasing property at the present location of the San Antonio Mennonite Church.
The education building was built in 1928. The recession and the war prevented the building of the sanctuary until 1948. The sanctuary was consecrated on January 30, 1949 in a snowstorm.
The original red brick church was demolished in 1933. Presumably at that time the windows were reclaimed to be used in the new sanctuary upon its construction. The details are not precise, but maybe that’s the way the story went.
I wonder if the "art glass windows" mentioned in the book are the windows in the present sanctuary. That would make them possibly 120 years old.
I have drawn the banner with fourteen panes circling the cross. Inspired by the art glass windows of the church, I have chosen to use an Arts and Crafts style font.
I am imagining cutting the words from the lines of the embedded sonnet on the surrounding panes along with an image drawn from the stanza. I am still reticent to make that first cut, so I decided to just stick my toes in the water. I did a sample cut to see if that's what I want.
It is at this point I really miss the community aspect of cutting the banner. I miss “That’s good,” “That’s not quite right,” “I like that,” “Why don’t you try…,” “Go with it.” I would love any feedback.
The first line is "You held the guilt that Pilate washed away."
I have decided on the image of a bowl of water being poured out to represent this line.Water was essential for the indigenous people that lived in the San Antonio Missions. The water that began in the springs that fed the river and ran along beside their dwellings provided life for them, cleaned their bodies, and sustained their crops.
The people of the Bible also recognized their dependence on water, and the images of water fill the pages. In Genesis 1 the Creator gathers all the waters under heaven into one place.
God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place and let dry ground appear.” It was so. God called the dry ground “land” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:9
Job and the Psalms are filled with powerful images of water, and Jesus spoke “hush” to the raging water, asked the Samaritan woman for a drink of water, promised to give us water so that we would never thirst again, and that a spring of living water would flow out from us, and washed his disciples’ dirty feet with a basin of water.
Ironically the guilt that Pilate tried to wash away could only be cleansed by the blood of the one he has just condemned to death.
The second line is “With no defense you shouldered all the blame.”
Matthew describes the horrible offense that Jesus endured without protest or defense. The soldiers took him to the Praetorium, gathered all the soldiers around him, stripped him of his robe, which they would later cast lots for, put a more elegant scarlet robe on his body, and twisted together a crown for him made of thorns. They mockingly gave him a staff and knelt before him. Then took the staff and beat him over the head with it, spitting on him and cursing at him. Finally, they took off the scarlet robe, put his own robe back on him, and led him away to be crucified.
The symbol I have chosen to cut into this pane is a crown of thorns.
Robert and I have been removing the cactus, mesquite, and huisache from the prairie. Our 88 acres here in Wilson County were possibly once part of the the land on which the cattle from the San Juan Mission grazed. We take great care to avoid those thorns, but occasionally we get jabbed. Those tiny thorns from the prickly pears are really painful and hard to get out, and I think the mesquites must have some kind of poison in them, because they hurt for days. I cannot fathom the pain of having those thorns jabbed down into your head.