St. George's Episcopal Church

St. George's Episcopal Church | Growing in Christ's Love and Service | 5520 Far Hills Avenue, Dayton Ohio  45429 | 937-434-1781
Joseph WindowJoseph Window

Jesus’ birth and childhood are also described from Joseph’s perspective, which tells of Jesus as Immanuel, “God with us:” of divine substance, destined to rule, and Redeemer of humanity.  At the same time, Joseph is seen to be a man of exceptional character, open and obedient to God’s guidance and call.

Joseph was a carpenter by trade, and was known as a just, compassionate man. When he learned his fiancée, Mary, was pregnant, he wanted to leave her quietly; but an angel appeared to him in a dream and told him not to be afraid to wed Mary, because the Child was conceived by the Holy Spirit and would save his people from their sins.  So Joseph proceeded with the marriage, accepting his unique role as guardian of Mary and the infant Christ.  Around the time of Jesus’ birth, a star appeared in the heavens, which led wise men from the East to Bethlehem, to worship the new King of the Jews.  They brought him three symbolic gifts:  gold for a King, frankincense for God, and myrrh for a Man who would suffer and die.  Soon the Jewish ruler, Herod, discovered Jesus’ location, and ordered the slaughter of Bethlehem’s young children.  But an angel warned Joseph to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus, and they escaped.   When Herod died, the angel brought word that it was safe to return to Judea, so Joseph led Mary and the Child to Nazareth.  Joseph raised Jesus as a devout Jew, and each year the family traveled to Jerusalem for Passover.  But when Jesus was 12 years old, Mary and Joseph accidentally left him there when they headed home.  When they realized he wasn’t in the traveling party, they went back and searched for three days before finally finding him in the temple, talking to the priests.  Even as a child, Jesus understood his identity and wanted to be about his Father’s work.  Yet he returned to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph and was obedient to them, growing in strength and wisdom, and in favor with God and man.

Jesus is portrayed with Joseph in a carpentry shop.  Joseph’s hammer shows his strength of character.  Jesus’ red tunic represents his human nature —he grew up like one of us.  But it also foreshadows the blood he shed for our salvation.

Like Stars Appearing:  The Story of the Stained Glass Windows of St. George's Episcopal Church, Dayton, Ohio
copyright 2004 by Anne E. Rowland.  All rights reserved.
Stained Glass Windows copyright 2000 by St. George's Episcopal Church, crafted by Willet Stained Glass.

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