I was was super excited on Sunday when after the Divine Service a parishioner mentioned that they had been to the The Metropolitan Museum of Art the previous week and had seen a 16th century tapestry that depicts the Apostles Creed.
When the Reformation occurred in the 16th century (the same century as this tapestry) the immediate reaction of some was to "purge" the churches of images in order to focus only on the Word. Eventually the Reformed churches moved in this direction and to this day their churches are austere and whitewashed. The Lutherans on the other hand retained images in the church. In fact a tapestry such as this would have been cared for by the church and utilized in teaching the Faith to those who could not read. This tapestry and art like it in Lutheran churches served to convey the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the faithful. That ultimately was the standard and criteria for the retaining of art and images in Lutheran Churches.
I commend to you dear reader the importance of ecclesiastical art. It serves to inspire and deepen devotion to our Lord Christ and that is always a good thing. Here on the east coast and specifically in the north east we have more opportunities to view ecclesiastical art than anywhere else outside of Western Europe. Philadelphia, New York and DC all have collections to see and experience.