While they were there (in Bethlehem), the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6,7)
If you look in the background you can see the inn in Bethlehem with the lights shining. It is down the road. The hills of Judea are in the background. The star is shining. We don’t know that the star was shining the night of his birth but we do know it shined later when the magi came. It surely was shining some place because it was the means God used to guide the magi to Bethlehem when they got there later. They had seen the star earlier on their journey to Jerusalem. Notice that the star’s light is in the shape of a cross which comes to rest on Baby Jesus. Surely the cross was already there at the first Christmas. The light from the lamp (orange) is not as bright and light as the halo of light around Baby Jesus (yellow). Jesus is the Light of the world. All other light is of lesser brilliance.
The little lamb in the lower front of the window is looking at the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sin of the world. It would be normal to find a lamb in the stable where Jesus was born even if the shepherds were out on the hills around Bethlehem taking care of their flocks at night. Jesus would be the sacrificial lamb. He shows up again in heaven in John’s Revelation as the Lamb “looking as if it had been slain” (Revelation 5:6). This depiction of the Lamb looking as if it had been slain is found in the window next to the Nativity Window (in the nursery). You can stand in one place and see both the Nativity Window and the Good Shepherd Window at the same time. If you do that you notice that the chi ro is found in both windows too. In the Nativity Window you can see it formed from the shepherd’s staff and the cross of the manger’s legs. The staff is also symbolic of Jesus’ coming work as the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep and is known by them.
The passage above says that Mary “wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger.” Joseph is
holding Baby Jesus as he had to have been doing when Mary wrapped her baby in the cloths. Mary is holding the cloth she is going to use to wrap Baby Jesus in. Evidently these were strips of cloth that were wound around the infant’s little body. This cloth Mary is holding and which she will wrap around her infant becomes the “swaddling clothes” of the King James translation.
This window is the beginning of it all. This is the Incarnation…the Word taking on human flesh and blood. The windows continue on in sequence with the Good Shepherd, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Ascension.
CROSS AND CROWN WINDOW
Cross and Crown Lutheran Church
Georgetown, Texas 78628