Tag Archives: art

Follow Love

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Calling of Saint James and Saint John

Jesus called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:21c-22

Constant reports of war, greed, illness, depression, aggression, finger-pointing, and lack of personal accountability are causes of gloom and distress in our daily lives.

But the Lord calls us to leave our preoccupation with all that is in disrepair in the world and instead follow him to show by our life example that reconciliation, respect, courtesy, and compassionate service have the power to mend all divisions.

Today I will remember God has graced me with a spirit of love. I will follow the Lord on the way of love to bring the light of kindness, encouragement, and hope to all people I encounter.

Transformed by God’s grace and peace

Zelenka, Dave. Baptism of Christ, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56385 [retrieved January 14, 2023]. Original source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baptism-of-Christ.jpg.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:3

Each day is an opportunity to consciously place ourselves in the presence of God and ask to be touched by God’s grace and filled with God’s peace.

And as we receive these gifts, we are called to be servants of God’s will and give them away so that the light of reconciliation and love may reach to the ends of the earth.

God is my strength. Today I will let God’s grace and peace transform my thoughts, words, and the ways in which I interact with the people I encounter.

The treasures we offer

JESUS MAFA. Visit of the Three Wise Men, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

The magi opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11

When I open my heart, I find beautiful treasures of compassion, comfort, and kindness to offer to others.

Today I will explore my heart to uncover its treasures. I will offer these gifts to God through my interactions with each member of God’s human family.

The blessing of God-with-us

The Birth of Jesus with Shepherds

The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
Numbers 6:24-26

Let us not cease pondering the blessing of God-with-us, the wonder of the unfailing presence of God’s unconditional love, compassion, and acceptance. Let us open our minds, hearts, and lives to receive and radiate God’s light, kindness, and peace.

Today I will enter the sacred space of my heart to reflect on how God’s grace and love touch me each day. I will look for God’s presence in the glory of God’s creation, especially in all members of God’s diverse human family.

Entrusted with the care of God

John August Swanson
Shepherds

The shepherds went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. Luke 2:16

God entrusted the infant Jesus— Emmanuel, God with us—
to humble human beings
to care for him…
love him…
cherish him.

Today I will remember that each of us has been made by God in love to embody love and carry love with us. Wherever I find God’s human children, may I always hasten to treat them with love and reverence.

Merry Christmas!

Remember me

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Three Crosses
drypoint and burin on paper (III/IV), 1653 Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

Then [the other criminal] said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:42-43

Remember me, Lord.

It’s the beginning of a dialogue with God. It shows I remember God is with me. It shows my belief that God is listening. It shows my trust that I matter to God.

Today I will not forget God is here. I will remember God’s kingdom is right here among us and will look for God wherever I am, in every breath I take, in everyone I encounter. I will let go of worry and fear and remember God is in charge.

Persevere in love

Pannai, Jaffna
Jesus in Sun, 2019

Jesus said, “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” Luke 21:19

Persevere in kindness. Persevere in faith. Persevere in compassion. Persevere in forgiveness, in letting go of resentment, in rejecting fear. Persevere in trusting God is here, God cares, God is in charge.

Today I will refuse to be terrified by reports of wars, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, injustice. I will quietly put my energy into loving and helping my neighbors near and far and in trusting the Lord holds us all close to his heart.

Graced by hope

João Cautela Lighting from the Heart, 2011 “With all the lights in the world turning off, I’m hoping the ones in our hearts keep lighting forever..”

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

When I put my hope in God’s enduring presence, when I allow myself to receive God’s love in its many, diverse forms, when I keep God in the center of my life, I am strengthened to live each day with courage and trust in God’s compassion.

Today I will let God’s love heal my sorrowing heart. I know God is with me in every moment and helps me through difficult times of pain and suffering.

Dialogue, not monologue

Dirck van Delen, Church Interior with the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14), 1653, Oil on panel. Gift of Asbjorn R. Lunde, 1981. The Clark Art Institute, 1981.63.

[Jesus said,] “The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity…'” Luke 18:11

Prayer is a dialogue with God, not a monologue with myself. In prayer, I speak to God about what is in my heart, confident that God listens without judgment. And I listen to God, confident that God replies with compassion and wisdom. God awakens me to my need to make a change in my life, to offer amends to those I have hurt, to rest when I am tired, to sit with grief, to love myself and my neighbor.

Today I will remember to tell God what is on my mind and in my heart, and then listen for God’s reply.

Raise your heart to the Lord

Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ hands, 1873

My help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2

When I forget Who is in charge, Whose vision is unfolding for our world, Who is the center of my life, I tend to become anxious and discouraged. When I remember God is holding me and everyone else in a loving, compassionate embrace, I can relax and put my energy into enjoying the gift of the moment and helping where I am able.

Today I will remember to continually raise my heart to the Lord in prayer when life’s events threaten to take over my mind and energy.