Lori Rietze, watercolor artist who also designed several of our church’s stained glass windows, brought a 4th-grade school group into Trinity this afternoon to show them the artwork in our sanctuary. After she talked about the windows, Alex explained various symbols and structures in the chancel area, and also pointed out the paraments and showed them several banners. We got to explain about the Trinity, the atonement, the church year, and various other things. The kids were astounded by the number of crosses in the sanctuary (some took it upon themselves to try and count them, but there were too many). Alex said that it was because Jesus’ death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins was so important to our church. So, how awesome is that?
Church art teaches something. It’s not neutral. It’s not purely a matter of “style.” Everything is there for a reason, even if the goal is to be purely utilitarian and to look “un-church-like.” Consider the confession of faith that your church makes simply through what is seen. It will not be lost on even the youngest of people.
(*This photo isn’t our church, by the way, but it is a good example of symbols prevalent in a Lutheran church.*)