Stained Glass Windows
‘THE STATIONS OF CREATION’
There is a new consciousness throughout society “that world peace is threatened, not only by the arms race, regional conflicts and continued injustices among peoples and nations, but also by a lack of due respect for nature, by the plundering of natural resources and by a progressive decline in the quality of life” (John Paul II, Peace with God the Creator, Peace with all of Creation, 1 January 1990).
Modern, industrial and scientific disregard for the integrity of creation is causing climate change and expressions of this can be found in the tsunami of 2004 and hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the U.S. in 2005. John Paul II has pointed out that there is a profound sense in which it can be said that “the earth is ‘suffering’” and that this new awareness “is also shared by those who do not profess our faith in God” (1 January 1990).
One of the key resources for addressing this crisis is the story of Creation as found in the Jewish and Christian scriptures. The biblical account of Creation, found in chapters One and Two in the book of Genesis, highlights the unity and integrity of the whole of Creation, as well as the responsibility of all human beings to care for the earth and to be in solidarity with Creation. The biblical narrative of Creation is also an integral part of the Christian doctrine of the “New Creation” in Christ (2 Cor.5:17)
The introduction of twenty stained-glass windows depicting the biblical account of Creation into the Church of the Ascension is intended to capture some aspects of the wonder of God’s creation: emptiness, darkness, light, vegetation, life, and the uniqueness of the human form.
Surrounding the Church of the Ascension with the story of Creation reminds the worshipping community of the close relationship that exists between Creation and Liturgy in terms of giving praise and thanksgiving to God for the gift of life. These “stations of creation” symbolise link that obtains between the celebration of the Eucharist and the exercise of ecological responsibility, and the unity that obtains between the dust of the earth (adamah) and the human (adam).
In the words of contemporary scientists, the Human is cosmic dust in a state of consciousness. With this new (really old) consciousness there comes a call to care for and cultivate the integrity of God’s creation, the well- being of all human beings, and the good of society.
The introduction of these stained-glass windows on the theme of Creation into the Church of the Ascension is a theological statement about the urgency of respecting the integrity of God’s Creation and a raising of human consciousness to a new responsibility to care for the earth.
The twenty stained-glass windows are called “The Stations of Creation” in order to make a connection with “The Stations of the Cross”. In this way, a clear link is established between the biblical account of Creation and the historical salvation of the world “in Christ”.
Stained Glass Windows
(Loose association rather than strict representation)