FIRST WINDOW ON EAST SIDE OF SANCTUARY
DEDICATED TO MELCHIZEDEK
The windows on the east side of the sanctuary are a translation of the ‘authors’ of books in the Bible on the west side of the nave. To express it in the terms of the panel found on the bottom of the window dedicated to Melchizedek “Melchizedek first of the High Priests told God’s word in the language of his day.”
The first reference in the Bible to Melchizedek is found in Genesis 14:18 where he is named the King of Salem. Lot, the nephew of Abraham, resided in the city of Sodom. Raiders attacked that city and took Lot and all his goods with them. Abraham, who had just settled down in the land of Canaan, armed his followers and pursued the raiders. He attacked them by night, defeated them, and brought back all the captives including Lot and the goods which had been stolen.
Melchizedek came out of Salem to meet the victor and bring him bread and wine. He also blessed Abraham and in return the patriarch paid one-tenth of the spoil of battle as tithes to Melchizedek.
In Christian Art, Melchizedek was revered as priest-king and as the forerunner of the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, bread and wine. In the Epistle to the Hebrews Melchizedek is mentioned as one who was “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginnings of days nor end of life.” (Hebrews 7:3)
In the window there is a pot or lamp which might be either incense referring to Melchizedek as priest or a lamp which would attest to his wisdom. On the right is the city of Salem which also stands for Jerusalem.