This banner was designed, on commission, for St John’s Lutheran Church, Unley, South Australia.
The banner measures app 120×220 cm.
Its Meaning (based on the Gospel according to John)
In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.’ (John 1:4-5)
‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ (John 8:12)
‘I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ (John 12:32)
The risen Christ as triumphant king stands with arms outstretched in the attitude of the cross. He stands on the earth bringing light into the darkness, life from death. His crown denotes kingship, and his robes bear the sign of his coronation: the golden cross. The halo and shining white of his garment symbolize his divinity, while his face bears the mark of his suffering and his heart bleeds with the pain of humanity.
His death is represented by the horizontal red band broken by three drops of blood. His burial is seen in the cocoon/chrysalis/cloth-bound body shape lying in the realm of darkness. The three layers of earth above the grave represent the three days betgween his death and resurrection.
The ‘darkness/death’ section of the banner is constructed with horizontal lines representing a static state in contrast to the ‘light/life’ section where lines are either vertical or curved, suggesting movement. The vertical lines, together with the hands, draw us upward – draw us to the centre, the head of Christ, the centre of life for the Church. The circular motif represents wholeness.
The colours of the dark and light areas gradually become lighter, moving from dull black to shiny gold, a procession towards glory. The figure does not contrast strongly with the background, and the lines of the garment (especially the cross) extend outward. This signifies Christ’s presence in the world as the Light of the world.
The underlying inspiration for this banner design is the picture of Jesus praying for us in John 17:24 – ‘Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.’
– Rae Kempe.
[The banner construction team comprised Olive Kleinig, Yvonne Borgas, Helen Schubert, Rom van de Hoek, and myself.]