Interesting pictures on the good Synod President's web site. He gives us photos taken from his German tour and I was most impressed with the shots of a pulpit from the chapel in the Torgau Castle, a chapel which Luther dedicated and, in particular, the pulpit from which he preached.
Lutherans are (were) passionate about the arts in service to the Gospel and worship. The early Lutherans knew what more modern day Lutherans have forgotten -- the visual image that accompanies the verbal confession IS important. Would that we were as convinced today of the useful purpose of the arts in service to the Gospel within the architecture and appointments of the church! I would love to see such a pulpit today (and would love to see those plexiglass lecterns melted into blobs). Oh, it is true, we just might spend the cost of such a pulpit putting in a first class audio and visual system to enhance the sound of the praise band or to make sure everyone can see the PowerPoint slides of the Pastor's sermon but I think that the ornate pulpit is more durable!
We are just finishing the second leg of plaster and paint work in our chancel and nave. In the end we will have four more places where the symbols of the faith are prominently displayed and two statues to direct our attention to the word and promise of God. One will have the words "I am the Good Shepherd" with a statue of Jesus as the Good Shepherd with a lamb in His arm and a staff in His hand. The other will be the familiar Thorvaldsen Christ (which was on the ornate altars of so many Lutheran congregations of the prairie -- including my own). This will have above it "Come to Me and I will give you rest."
If things work out well, we have a couple of other projects to add to the existing investment of stained glass, jacobean frontals, banners, Christus Rex, pipe organ case, processional crucifix, brassware, etc... We have not spent a fortune (all told the total for all of this spent over 10 years or so is about equal to what we give each year toward missions). Even good art does always come with a huge price tag.