I Am The Resurrection And The Life
In the first of two consecutive Easter windows, our Lord is shown at the moment of His Resurrection–the crown of thorns at His feet, an angel holding open the stone door of the Vacant tomb at the left. Two Roman soldiers, one asleep, the other awestruck, appear to the right. At the upper left is an ancient resurrection symbol, the phoenix rising out of the flames. At the upper right three distant crosses are visible on the hill of Golgotha.
The theme of resurrection is paralleled in the lower portion of the window with the words “Rise, Ye Children of Salvation” This familiar and beloved hymn (SBH 556) was written by the fourth pastor of our congregation the Reverend Justus Falckner, in 1697 while still a student in Germany.
Justus Falckner (“Falkner:” as it appears in the window, is a misspelling) was the candidate at the first full-fledged Lutheran ordination held in America, which took place on November 24, 1703 in Gloria Dei Church, Wicaco (now Philadelphia). He was ordained upon being called to be pastor of “the Dutch Lutheran Church in New York:” i.e. the Province of New York, which included both Manhattan and Albany. The scene in the window, with its accurate detail of the folded chasuble lying on the altar rail, was probably copied from the jacket illustration of the 1946 Muhlenberg Press book, The World of Justus Falckner, by Delber W. Clark.
This window depicts not one but two pastors of First Lutheran Church. Dr. Andreas Rudman, the ordaining minister here, was Falckner’s immediate Predecessor and one of the early riverboat pastors, traveling between his Albany and New York congregations and ministering in Dutch to the Hudson Valley Lutherans. The window includes the depiction of a typical river sloop, the method of travel used by both men in their ministrations along the Hudson.