The altar parament is based upon the words of the hymn Behold, a rose is growing (Hymn 622, Lutheran Hymnal with supplement, LCA):
Behold a rose is growing,
Of loveliest form and grace,
As prophets sang, foreknowing;
It springs from Jesse’s race,
And comes a little flower …
Isaiah had foretold it
In words of promise sure,
and Mary’s arms enfold it …
This rose, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere …
(Selected lines from stanzas 1-3)
It depicts the star of Bethlehem shining over the world and showing us the swaddled baby Jesus cradled in the Christmas rose.
The pulpit fall shows the star of Bethlehem shining on the town of Bethlehem as well as our own Bethlehem Church in Adelaide, bringing the light of Christmas to the world.
The rose has been a common Christian symbol since the 1200s. It is multi-faceted, and is used to represent the promise of the Messiah, the birth of Christ and also the virgin Mary
We may also be reminded that a white rose was Luther’s favourite flower. He regarded white as the ideal colour of all angels and blessed spirits.
His seal depicts a heart in the centre of a white rose, to show that faith brings joy, comfort, blessedness and peace beyond that of the world.