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.
January 29 - February 5
Just before the beginning of Jesus’ formal ministry, “angels came and ministered unto him” (Matthew 4:11). Angels were frequent visitors to Jesus’ life: they had heralded his birth, would comfort him during his suffering, and eventually announced his resurrection.
This painting by Abbott Thayer is just one depiction of an angel, recognizable by its peaceful demeanor, halo, and white wings and robes. Other artists portray them differently, with a variety of colors, iconography, and dispositions.
What is your favorite depiction of angels?
The first 7 chapters of John all deal with water, whether in the context of miracles, baptism, or teachings on “living water.”
In a literal sense, living water refers to fresh, flowing water, as seen in this painting by Henry Culmer, but Jesus’ use of the phrase in John 4 and 7 are metaphorical. What do you think Jesus meant by this analogy?
The poor in spirit. They that mourn. The meek. They which do hunger and thirst after righteousness. The merciful. The pure in heart. The peacemakers. They which are persecuted. The reviled.
Jesus identifies these nine groups as “blessed” in his Sermon on the Mount, though his doing so may seem counterintuitive, or even ironic at first. If you’ve ever been part of these groups, how have you been blessed?
A young boy playing with trains, a Bear Surfboards logo, and a J.D. Salinger quote about marbles seem at first to be unusual subjects for a painting called “Prayer.” But look closer. Notice at the boy’s position, the trains running free of any tracks, the vibrant colors, and the text’s discussion of luck and expectations.
As you read the Lord’s Prayer in this week’s ‘Come, Follow Me’ section, why do you think this piece is titled 'Prayer?'