This beautiful hand carved lindenwood sculpture serves as a focal point in St. Peter's sanctuary. Generously donated to St. Peter Lutheran Church, it contains a variety of symbols of our Christian faith.
The key symbolic element in the sculpture is of course the cross itself, but there are several other important Christian symbols visible.
· Holy Baptism is represented by the flowing water near the bottom.
· The Holy Spirit is pictured as a dove, reminding us that at his baptism, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove. The gold "halo" around the dove's head (called a nimbus) is a sign of the holy presence of God.
· The burning candle reminds us of the description in John 8:12 of Jesus as "the light of the world," the one who lights our way to life.
· Similarly, the golden rays behind the cross witness to Jesus as the "Son of Righteousness," reminding us of his resurrection.
· Finally, the cross within the cross — looking somewhat like the letter "p" — is in fact a representation of two letters of the Greek alphabet, "chi" and "rho." In the Greek language, they are the first two letters of the title "Christ." Over the centuries, the chi-rho symbol has become a symbol of our Savior. On this particular sculpture, the loop of the chi also resembles a shepherd's crook, reminding us that Jesus is also our Good Shepherd.
Perhaps you can see other signs or symbols in the sculpture. Look carefully at it to see what you discover!
Feel free to share your thoughts about this sculpture with any of the congregation's leaders, or with the pastor.