We serve the Creator God, and we worship Him when we also create beauty. We praise the Lord by noticing the glory embedded in the world and by weaving those expressions into our own creations. The inspiration for this image came one day when the artist peered into a garbage can full of old, smelly trash that would drive most people away. But there in the mouth of the trash was a perfect spider’s web, a stunning visual reminder that beauty is a powerful contrast to darkness and decay. The cross at the center of the web reminds us that the death and resurrection of Jesus brings life and beauty out of that which was ugly, sinful, and broken.
Through Jesus Christ, we are part of God’s family and participate with Him in bringing Shalom to the world’s Chaos. The image is of a potter’s hands shaping a pot as the Lord shapes us—bringing us into being and forming us for service as His children. A pot gains its strength and beauty when fired in the kiln, just as the fiery trials of our lives solidify our bond with our Heavenly Father and strengthen our faith. The eagle feathers and wings remind us of the Lord’s provision for His people: “You have seen . . . how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself” (Exodus 19:4).
The fullest expression of our being is in community, as the Triune God is in very nature a community—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Throughout the Bible, we see the command to welcome and enfold others as people loved by our Creator and united by Jesus. The image connects the shoulders and heads of four different people painted in the traditional Navajo colors—white, blue, yellow, and black—into a single building block, and the various symbols within each body represent the unique roles they play within the group. The crowd of people in the center of the building block is the community created by everyone bringing their gifts and talents together in a united mission.
From the beginning, the Bible tells us that the physical environments and creatures of the world were created good and are loved by God. As the Lord’s partners, we must tend and care for the world around us so that it flourishes, and we must root out the practices in our lives that bring harm to that which God cherishes. The image shows seven ears of corn rising out of a human hand and seven seeds atop the stalk, representing the fullness of creation as cared for by people. The pictograph-style images are all things that people cultivate on behalf of our Creator God.
Diversity is part of God’s beautiful creation, and by understanding, celebrating, and embracing diversity as vital to the full expression of human community, we rehearse the Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven—“a great multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language.” The figures in the picture, ranging from dark to light are connected by a line of energy and life. It’s a celebration dance, uniting them in a sacred rhythm. They are all different, but that only serves to enrich the movement that joins them together.
Jesus proclaimed the Good News that God’s Kingdom is here! The Kingdom comes when and where people do the will of the King—bringing Shalom to Chaos. The artist’s image evokes the whole world, with the seed of the Word of God at the center. People spread those seeds as they walk out the message and laws of the Lord, resulting in life and flourishing, represented by the growing grass.
The Lord created us in His image, giving us both value and a task—to demonstrate to the world what God is like by serving as living pictures of His love, care, and protection for others. The painting depicts people “living under the rainbow,” which is a Navajo expression about having a right mind and living a balanced life. Such a life comes from the promises of God fulfilled in Jesus. The various images on the bodies of the people represent the different abilities, passions, and duties of their lives—all working together to put the Lord on display.
The Lord has blessed us with minds to learn about Him, the world, and our place in it. Seeking the truth means discerning what is in step with the nature and will of God. The image of the butterfly represents growth and change, and the Truth changes us as it unfolds through our seeking. The triangular shapes in the butterflies represent the Triune God, and the paths of the lines represent teaching and learning.
Hope is the light that shines in the darkness—a confidence that the Lord is who He says He is and that His promises are true. That Hope, residing in us, needs to be passed on to others in word and deed, like the nourishing water from a well. The water in the image makes reference to the Living Water that flows from us when we believe in Jesus Christ. The fire picks up on a repeated image in the Bible of the presence of God and specifically of the Holy Spirit.
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