I am submitting 5 of 7 pieces that were inspired by our visit to Israel. My wife and I with some fellow church members went there to take in the areas as depicted in the Bible. As and architect and artist my imagination and heart was filled with images and the sense of wonder we all experienced. The images and metaphors drawn are a reflection of the heart and soul filled experience we all had together. The statement is God is real and his protection and presence is unfathomable.
We shared not only with our group but others as we visited so many places in Israel and unique peace and strength being added to our faith, hope and love for God. The fellowship, communion, studies and tactile environments provided such armor of assurance. Being where Christ walked.....taught.....suffered....died and resurrected was not only inspiring but provide a resilience to our faith walk. Our experiences were deep and our memories are deeper which adds to the strength of our convictions.
THE GARDEN TOMB
Outside the old city walls of Jerusalem there is a garden; one with ancient tombs hewn from the rock, a garden with an ancient winepress and open spaces for prayer and communion. Our group gathered to consider what could have happened there one morning and to share what that means to all humankind. The communion elements were laid on an altar built of flat rocks within sight of one special tomb and we shared together in song, a message of love and forgiveness, and a holy communion.
Imagine that sunrise! Imagine the release and resurrection of Jesus as it happened just yards away from where we gathered!
Rolled away was the stone; rolled away is any remaining doubt! May God’s Light show us to the way to even deeper belief, as we trust and share with others this Good News!
NO MORE HATE
YAD HASHEM, the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, was an eye and heart opening experience for me. The building was built as a triangular shaft which extended upward with a linear skylight. As we entered a movie was playing with scenes of times before the holocaust and after a heartrending journey and many exhibits and testimonies we found ourselves at the opposite end of the building faced with the purity of the sky and nature.
There was an area where pictures and countless lists of the names of those who had died by the hand of hate are displayed. The room has a round form but as I looked downward I saw a pit of black. That pit of hate was surrounded by people of all ages, nationalities and walks of life and I could sense their unspeakable grief, anguish and horror. As people of faith, we must expose hate, then surround and contain it.
We must pray for GOD’s light to break through the dark mass of hate in our world to change lives and hearts. In the end, GOD will win and the goodness of His creation will shine through with pure growth of truth.
PRAYERS AT THE WESTERN WALL
At the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Jews come to pray with open hands and hearts that are scarred from the Holocaust while Christians come with hands reaching for the true Messiah, Jesus Christ. Christ is alive and well in the history, memory and activity at the Western Wall and He offers his grace to all who come to pray. Between the massive stones of the Western Wall there are plants surviving in the tight cracks-but without flourishing or flowering. But through the presence and blessing of God’s grace, our lives are made full and blossom in the ultimate beauty as God’s creation. We pray because we believe. We believe because Christ is real.
WHICH WAY DO I WALK?
In ancient times at Caesarea Philippi, a pagan temple was built in front of a mammoth cave where worshippers offered living sacrifices to their gods. This and other pagan temples are now in complete ruin; columns have been broken into pieces, and stairways still can be seen leading to unknown places.
In our Faith walk we have a decision to make; to pick the path that leads toward the Light of Christ or to choose to walk a different path which leads to destruction. May our path be guided by the Light and may we always focus on the cross of Salvation.
MY ROCK IS CHRIST (1st Peter Chapter 2)
Within sight of the Dead Sea in Israel is the site of MASADA, where history records one of the last Jewish rebellions against Rome. After years of successfully resisting the Romans it became clear that their cause was hopeless and hundreds of Jewish people chose to take their own lives rather than face Roman slavery and torture.
As Christians we choose Christ as our Cornerstone, the cornerstone by which we are guided and have built our Faith. We believe that God created the heavens, the earth and humankind and this belief puts into perspective the awesome power and purpose that God has for our lives. May we align ourselves with Christ and build our lives upon the True Cornerstone.
AT THE MOUNT OF OLIVES
Olive trees that are hundreds and thousand years old, whose roots go deep in history, dot the terrain of the Mount of Olives across from the closed eastern gate to old Jerusalem. On that hillside they form a canopy for believers where they can pray and try to grasp that Christ was praying there in his final days. There He cried out to God the Father about the cup which could have been spared, but which in the end Jesus took for our eternal salvation.
As we pray on this holy ground, may God’s light touch our hearts and may we understand the path Jesus took, that of his crucifixion, death and resurrection. We are truly forgiven when we truly believe that Jesus is the Christ who gave of his life freely for our redemption. May this holy ground protect these olive trees and offer inspiration and consolation to all believers who pray there.
THE RIVER JORDAN
The few seconds beneath the surface of the River Jordan-that same river where Jesus was baptized in by John the Baptist-brings a sense of completion to my desire to fully commit my life to Christ. Those brief seconds under the water becomes a celebration of my lifelong discipleship journey to commit to the Lord of the Universe, the Creator of all things. I am a creation of God and I am part of this wonderful universe where God’s grace lifts and lights my way. As I rise up from the waters of Baptism, I reach openhanded toward God, feeling free and touched by God’s love because Jesus Christ is my Savior.
May God bless all who choose through obedience in Baptism to a new life and may His grace continually guide you in your faith walk.
The trip and fellowship in Israel was the inspiration, especially with my wife and church family. My wife was instrumental in having the written explanations to the paintings come to reality.
The series set is not for sale since I have wanted and needed to share the intent with our churches in the DFW area. Prints would be available depending on size and number.
My services as an architect is in retirement mode at this time and look to do artwork for people who have a theme or bible versus in mind. Size and design intent for the painting are treated like one would do for a custom home or commercial business need.
Curious? Interested in submitting artwork to our contest? Know someone who might be? Through April 14th, 2022, the Engage Art Contest is open to the whole world! Get your foot in the door by claiming your Artist Page now!