Last night at God's Garage - Manchester we were looking at the parable of the prodigal sons. I was inspired by the father in the parable and began to think about the image of the father in the story. The parable is told by Jesus among other things to challenge the Pharisee's view of God and his actions.There is a strong image of God in this parable. A God who does not act like we think he should act. This led me to reflect on my own image of God and how others think about God too. So this post is going to be an ongoing post that may well last for some months. I'm also thinking about reflecting on this with my own congregation somehow. I'll be posting some contemporary and historical art along with poetry and other creative writing that I may come come across in the days and weeks ahead. I may even attempt to write something my self. I'm not sure how this will look or what resources I may find, but I'm going to collect them on here for all to see. So here goes..........
Icon of the Trinity
The icon of the Trinity was painted around 1410 by Andrei Rublev. It depicts the three angels who visited Abraham at the Oak of Mamre - but is often interpreted as an icon of the Trinity.It is sometimes called the icon of the Old Testament Trinity.The image is full of symbolism - designed to take the viewer into the Mystery of the Trinity.
James B. Janknegt - 1990
"Man of Sorrows"
"Man of Sorrows" Painted by James B. Janknegt in 1990
One of the passages that James B. Janknegt took for his inspiration was the passage below
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you.”
"Outcast on the Margins"
This image of God really needs no explanation. The in this scene Jesus is at home with the outcasts, the marginalised, the misunderstood, and the people who occupy the edgelands of life. Often this Jesus is not welcome in the church as he gives too much of a challenge. This image reminds me of so many stories in the gospels, the most prominent one is the woman caught in adultery
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Cherry Winkle More
"The Feminine God"
This painting by Cherry Winkle More was originally drawn on retreat and then painted afterwards.
It was drawn and painted out of an experience that highlighted the feminine characteristics of God
Matthew 23:37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
1856 - 1940
Belgian painter and draughtsman and member of the group of Realist painters known as L’ESSOR.
"God The Father"
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:1-2
William Blake 1794
"The Ancient of Days"
Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
Daniel 7:22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
"The Passion of Jesus"
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished."
With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
The Baptism of Jesus
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”