Sermon Illustrations

Stained Glass Window Survives Centuries and Inspires

During the time of Oliver Cromwell, thousands of stained glass windows in English churches were destroyed, because the English puritans objected to objects of veneration, which they called ’abused images’. Of those stained glass windows that did survive, few were undamaged, and there was an irreplaceable loss of priceless English church heritage.

Amongst the windows that were damaged but survived is a unique medieval roundel that may be found above the north door of Holy Trinity Church in Long Melford, Suffolk.

That it required repair is sadly obvious, yet one visitor, Peter Sebbage, considered that its repair actually enhanced the inspirational value of the window. “In its repair”, he said, “it illustrates God’s unfailing love in reconciling a fallen world to Him through the sacrifice of Jesus”.

This roundel depicts three hares chasing each other in a circle. The three hares motif has been found in Europe, the Sinai Peninsula, Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and China, but it is most commonly found in churches in Devon, England, where it is often called the tinners’ rabbits.

If you look closely, you will see that the three hares only have three ears between them instead of the six you would expect. In a clever optical illusion, each hare shares an ear with each of the other hares. The hares are distinct and cannot be confused with each other, yet together they comprise a unity that cannot be divided. It should therefore come as no surprise that the three hares motif has come to represent the Trinity.

Today is Trinity Sunday, one of our principal feast days, a day when we celebrate the doctrine of God as the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

From a sermon by Darrly Ward, Neither confused nor divided, 12/5/2009

Related Sermon Illustrations

Related Sermons

Browse All Media

Related Media