April 25 - May 1
Detail from Maynard Dixon (1875-1946).
Colorado Desert, c.1927, oil on canvas, 20 1/8 x 30 1/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Eldon, 2001.
After the Israelites escaped Egypt, Moses read them the law at the foot of Mount Sinai and they covenanted that “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient” (Exodus 24:7). However, when Moses returned to the mount for 40 days, they began to worry and started worshipping idols. Dixon’s painting suggests the loneliness and confusion that can accompany waiting in the wildreness, but the Lord will not abandon us when we earnestly seek his presence.
In what ways might we similarly forget the covenants we have made? What can you do to seek God’s presence more fully in your life?
May 2 - 8
Detail from James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836-1902),
Moses and Joshua in the Tabernacle, c. 1896-1902, gouache on board, 7 3/8 x 8 13/16 in, The Jewish Museum, New York. Image provided by the Jewish Museum, New York. Gift of the heirs of Jacob Schiff.
The Lord commanded the Israelites to build a tabernacle to guide their minds, hearts, and lives toward Jehovah. The Ark of the Covenant was placed inside and represented God’s presence, covenants, and commandments. It reminded the Israelites that their access to the presence of God was based on their obedience to his laws. In Tissot’s painting, Moses and Joshua are not praying to the altar, but to the Lord. They believed the room that held the Ark was a representation of living in the presence of God, making it a spiritual place to communicate with Him.
We invite you to recall your own experiences with prayer at the temple. How those experiences, ordinances, and covenants brought you closer to God?
May 9 - 15
Robert Vernon Bullough, Sr.,
The Prophet, c.1970, welded steel, 40 x 12 x 8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art. Courtesy of the artist.
In Numbers 11, we see the power of personal revelation. When Moses said he wished “that all the Lord’s people were prophets” (Numbers 11:29), he hoped that everyone would pray and recognize the power of receiving personal revelation.
Bullough’s sculpture shows the power and strength a prophet both exerts and receives when he communicates with God. Here, the figure reaches up towards heaven against the wind, showing how his faith stabilizes him in a tumultuous situation.
How has revelation helped you feel stable and secure?
May 16 - 22
Frank Van Sloun (1879-1938),
An Old Patriarch (Restrike), 1931, etching, 2 15/16 x 3 7/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Richard W. and Joanne Hardy, 1997.
Moses’ grand ministry is made up of small, individual works, repeated with consistency throughout his life. These include numerous councils with the Lord, dozens of sermons to the Israelites, and hundreds of commandments and laws. The Lord responded in kind, with miracles as big as the parting of the Red Sea and as small as keeping the Israelites’ clothing in good shape throughout their journey (Deut. 8:4).
Likewise, Frank Van Sloun’s repeated use of small, individual lines creates something beautiful and rewarding. What small, individual decisions make up the masterpiece of your life?
May 23 - 29
Veda Epling with Harrell Fletcher,
Veda's Bibles 1/14, inkjet print, 14 9/16 x 18 7/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with proceeds from the Museum of Art Store, 2008.
When the Israelites finally arrived at the borders of their promised land, stories of their God and his miracles had already gone before them and reached the ears of Jericho’s inhabitants, including the woman Rahab. She shared that she already knew that the God of Israel was “God in heaven above, and in earth beneath” (Joshua 2:11).
These chapters are among those recorded in the series Veda’s Bibles, a series of 14 prints of highlighted pages by Veda Epling, who highlighted Bibles to give away while she was homeless and living outside a church in San Antonio. While, at first glance, we may not understand the meaning behind each of her beautiful designs, we can appreciate that Veda found God in some way in every verse.
Some find God in grandiose miracles, and others see him in small details. What helps you recognize the Lord in your life?