“Come, Follow Me” – October 2022
Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834 – 1890), Christ in Gethsemane, 1880, etching, 5 3/8 x 3 11/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by J. Robert and Lisa Wheatley, 2001.
Because we are human, and because our lives are full of sorrows and griefs in addition to gladness and joy, we are sometimes prone to forget the loving Master who is always on our side.
In Isaiah 51, the Lord encourages us to step back from forgetting and reminds us of who He is: “I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die… and forgettest the Lord thy maker[?]” (Isaiah 51:12-3). Bloch’s print similarly reminds us of the Lord’s infinite ability to succor us because of his great sacrifice. Because of the atonement, we can learn a little better every day how to keep Him in remembrance.
What do you do to always remember the Lord?
Detail from Max Thalmann (1890-1944), Figures of Light, c.1920, woodcut, 19 5/8 x 14 5/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Milton D. Heifetz, 1970.
“So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun.” (Isa 59:19) Regardless of every injustice done to us by others or by ourselves, every pain and sorrow, every mistake, Jesus will come again and the earth will rejoice. Then, as now, He will be our intercessor and our protector, and He will exhaust every opportunity to help us find light and joy, as Thalmann illustrates in this print.
What recent experiences have led you to rejoice in the glory of the Lord?
Kosin, Mother Carrying Child, no date, 2 1/8 x 1 1/16 x 1 5/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of J. Herbert Millburn, 1987.
These chapters in Jeremiah, like many in the Old Testament, remind us that Israel has gone astray over and over again. And yet the Lord is always waiting to be our “hope in the day of evil” (Isa 17:17) so long as we turn back to Him. In fact, Chapter 18 opens with an analogy: if the Lord is a potter, then we are the vessel that he reshapes over and over again to help us become better and stronger.
Though perhaps not its original meaning, consider this little statue as a vessel that the Lord would create, a possible vision of who the Lord thinks this person can be. What do we learn from it? This woman is not alone, and she appears happy. Whatever reshaping we may have to patiently endure, the Lord’s intentions are always to bring us more joy.
What new joys are you finding as the Lord is reshaping you?
Minerva Teichert (1888-1976), The Sacrament, 1949-1951, oil on masonite, 36 x 48 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1969.
In this painting, Teichert represents two stages of discipleship in sacrament worship: approaching Christ and then walking away with renewed covenants. Christ is, of course, at the center of this interaction, and He has given us the opportunity to make covenants and bind ourselves to Him through this process over and over again. In these chapters He promises, “I will make an everlasting covenant with them” (Jer 32:40) and “[I] will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer 31:33).
How have you seen this promise fulfilled as you have kept and renewed your covenants with the Lord?
James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836-1902), Charles Hoffbauer (1875-1957), Ezekiel, c. 1896-1904, gouache on board, 9 2/3 x 4 5/8 in, The Jewish Museum, New York. Gift of the heirs of Jacob Schiff. Featured in the Prophets, Priests, and Queensexhibition.
Ezekiel’s life and prophetic mission were neither simple nor easy. He lived in exile and, like many other Biblical prophets, was charged with encouraging a hardened people to repent, as we see referenced in this painting. What sustained him in this difficult task was the promise associated with this commandment: “ye shall be clean… a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you” (Ezek. 36:25-6). As our modern prophet has taught, our joy has “little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.” This joy comes as we heed the counsel of the prophets with an eye towards the Lord’s promised blessings.
When has following the prophet showed you the Lord’s desire to bless you?