The unique and beautiful mural above the altar of Zion Lutheran Church, “Christ Triumphant”, is a gift from one of our members, Mr. Willard Sauter. After 3 ½ years of work (about 700 man-hours), the mural was dedicated, on December 18, 1966, to the glory of God and in memory of Muriel P. Sauter, the artist’s wife, who died in 1955.
The mural measures 8 feet wide and 21 feet high, and is painted in oil on one continuous piece of mural canvas.
Click this link to see full page of the mural: mural.html
The beauty of the mural is enhanced by knowing the interpretation of its various, figures, which follows. Admire it from your seat, and feel free to come up for a closer look before or after services.
The figure of Jesus Christ dominates the mural as He rises from and through a semi-circular world. He confronts the viewer with searching brown eyes and inviting – outstretched arms.
Incorporated in the design are symbols of His birth, death, resurrection and second coming.
The six-pointed star – symbolic of His birth – is the star of David. In Revelation 22:16, Christ says, “I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” In Matthew 2:2, the Wise Men say, “For we have seen His star in the East, and are come to worship Him.” The star is made of two triangles, one representing the Trinity – God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and pointing up. The second points down to man.
Behind and through the, figure of Christ is a cross, suggesting His sacrificial death and crucifixion. Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross.”
Christ’s resurrection is suggested by His position above the world and by the position of His feet, which are not resting on the earth.
The clouds above the cross serve to remind of His second coming. Luke 22:27, “And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and, great glory.” Revelation 1:7, “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him –“.
Notice that the scars in His hands and feet are the shape of men and women – “He was wounded for our transgressions.” — Isaiah 53:5.
The brown and blue areas of the world from a short distance appear to be water and land masses, but upon closer inspection reveal heads of people of various races. Christ was concerned about people, not earthly territory. See Matthew 4:8.
The light ray which envelops Him and cuts through the darkness emphasizes that He is the light of the world. He is meant to be masculine-looking, and His robes of white and red are symbolic of purity and sacrifice. The right hand, as you view the mural, seems inviting; the left hand, with fingers spread, is a gesture of explanation or reasoning. Christ is pictured as our Savior by the one, and our teacher by the other.
The geometric treatment of the design, with its interesting color patterns, permits a harmonious transition from the colored windows of the pediment through the mural to the church altar.
Mr. Sauter was aided in his work on the mural by his children, John, Bruce and Jeanne, and by Pastor John H. Sprock and various members of the congregation, who assisted him in many ways and for whose help and suggestions he is most grateful.