The Angel of Salvation stands bearing a Palm Branch in the right hand and in the left hand a circlet of stars. In Christian art, stars are used to refer to the promised coming of Christ. Palm leaves often symbolize the Triumphal Entry when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and all the crowds cheered for him and waved palm branches. In ancient Greece, palm leaves were a symbol of victory.
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb. All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
… the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:54-56
The lower section shows the Annunciation of the Shepherd. The Angel of the Lord is announcing to the Shepherds that the Son of God has been born in Bethlehem. The Shepherd is standing with a crook in his hand; the other person is kneeling with a lamb in his arms. A richly robed Angel with a scepter suggests the glory of the Lord. God could have honored kings, generals or religious leaders with the announcement of this glorious message to humanity. Instead, the angel’s message of the birth of Christ was given to lowly shepherds.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’”
The Speer Window was a gift of Charles E. Speer in memory of Betty Morrow Speer (1802-1887) and James Ramsey Speer (1796-1891).