Art and scripture can work hand in hand to share and reinforce religious beliefs, and this year the MOA is selecting new artworks each week to accompany each chapter of the Come, Follow Me program. Below you'll selections for this month alongside commentary and questions written by members of the MOA team. We hope that art-lovers everywhere will be inspired by these artworks as they complement their gospel study, family discussions, and church classes with fine art from around the world.
July 31 - August 6
The final biographic details we have of Paul in the Book of Acts describes him “Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him” (28:31). Hereafter, the next 14 books of the New Testament have been attributed to this one illustrious author.
This 16th-century sculpture from the workshop of Viet Stoss depicts the aged apostle leaning on his iconographic sword. The flow of his clothing seems to suggest movement, as though even in his later years he remains undeterred from his zeal to preach the gospel.
Which of Paul’s traits have you admired most in this reading of Acts?
If Paul’s entire ministry were stripped down to a single phrase, it might be the one found in Romans 5:8: “Christ died for us.” Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross if a frequent theme throughout his missionary work and epistles, and his other teachings largely stem from this idea. In this crucifixion scene by Mahonri Young, we see a loosely drawn vista of Golgotha, with Christ on the cross flanked by the silhouettes of the two thieves and raised above the thick outlines of mourners.
What would you like the central message of your life to be?
This illustration is the last in a series by John Hafen to accompany Eliza R. Snow’s poem “O My Father.” In it, we see an elderly man at the end of a long journey. He walks with a cane, his posture is weary, and a knapsack weighs down over one shoulder. Nevertheless, he seems determined and hopeful, for before him lies an open gate and a beautiful city. His travels are over and wonders await. Perhaps a famous verse from Romans crosses his mind: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (8:18).
Like this man, we too find ourselves on a difficult journey, buoyed by the hope of a wonderful destination. How can we look past trials toward better days ahead?
When he heard that the Corinthian saints were divided into factions, he reminded them to “be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).
This geometric abstract painting may seem at first to be an odd choice to be given the title “The Spirit of Unity.” After all, the intense blues and yellows are near opposites on the color wheel. Why do you think the artist, Irene Rice Pereira, chose this name for this artwork? What can we learn about unity from the painting?