Home > Christian, Lutheran > Memorial Lutheran Church – Clock of the Twelve Disciples

Memorial Lutheran Church – Clock of the Twelve Disciples

After sharing with you, the stain glass windows series of Memorial Lutheran Church in Ames, Iowa, I thought I would share with you another unique item in the church’s originally sanctuary. Today, this sanctuary is the Student Center. It is a clock with twelve shields representing the twelve disciples. Here is the information about it and a picture of the clock:

The Clock of the Twelve Disciples

The colorful and richly symbolic clock that dominates the south wall of the Student Center was designed and made by Oscar Tscopp (ISU 1964) as a project for Gamma Delta. The bowl-shaped center of the clock represents the world. Fixed in time. This is surrounded by three iron rings representing the Trinity, Who is beyond time. The shields of mosaic representing the twelve apostles, now in eternity, beyond time, are mounted on the rings.

Memorial Lutheran Church - The Clock of the Twelve Disciples

  1. Simon, the Zealot, is usually shown with a fish on a book to emphasize that he was a fisher of men through the gospel.
  2. Phillip. The cross and the two loaves are assigned to Phillip because of his answer Christ at the feeding of the five thousand in John 6:7.
  3. James the major is said to have traveled a great deal. The escallop shell is a symbol for the traveler, who used it to scoop water to drink.
  4. Thomas by tradition built a church in India with his own hands (the carpenter’s square) and was slain there by the spear of a heathen priest (the spear).
  5. Nathaniel or Bartholomew. According to tradition he was martyred by being skinned alive. Another tradition says he was cut into small pieces. Hence the flaying knifes.
  6. Judas Iscariot. In days of knighthood the shield of a knight who failed to do his duty was covered with yellow. Thus Judas’ shield is blank.
  7. Andrew is said to have died on a cross-shaped like an “X”. This cross has also become the emblem of the beginning and end of the Church Year.
  8. James the Younger. Traditions say he was thrown from the pinnacle of the temple and then his head was sawed from his body as a symbol of hate in the persecution.
  9. Matthew or Levi. Because Matthew was a tax collector when Jesus called him, he has the three moneybags assigned as his symbol.
  10. Jude or Thaddeus or Lebbaeus. The ship is a sign of mission voyages made for Christ. Jude is said to have many such trips by ship.
  11. John. An attempt on John’s life is aid to have been made through poison (the serpent arising out of the chalice) put into the communion cup.
  12. Peter. By tradition Peter was crucified on an inverted cross. The cross keys have also become symbolic for him because of Matthew 16:19.
Categories: Christian, Lutheran
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