Artist bio

Barbara Sartorius Bjelland is an artist, author and ordained chaplain currently living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Barbara grew up in Minneapolis and Cuernavaca, Mexico—places that gave her a lifelong love of sky-blue waters, colorful folk art, and imagination. Barbara has a degree in Commercial Art, studied studio arts at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and has had several solo and group exhibitions in the U.S. and Canada. Barbara has presented academic papers on the intersection of arts and theology, has received numerous artist’s grants and awards, and published an illustrated book on Communion (“Supper with the Savior: Communion in the Bible and Today.”)


Risen King



Artist Statement

Title: "Risen King." This poem describes the Biblical basis and theology of the images:

Risen King poured out in Blessing (Matthew 26:26; ; Luke 24:30, 31)
new Humanity become one (Gal. 3:28; Eph. 2:14)
thirsting deer by flowing streams (Psalm 42:1, 2)
feast on Christ, exalted Son (Hebrews 7:26)

The altar-table has been laid
the power of evil has been staid (Eph. 6:17; Genesis 3:15; Hebrews 2:14)
the Bridegroom comes (John 3:29, 30)
as we await (Phil 3:20)
Let all Creation Sing (Rev. 5:13) At the top we see Christ, the Risen King, feeding the new humanity with himself in Communion. The dove represents the Holy Spirit. The 3-prong candlestick points to the Holy Trinity and Christ as the Bridegroom and to the heavenly “marriage supper” in the Kingdom of God (Rev. 19:9). The little book below the candlestick is a Bible; the “sword of the Spirit, ” which radiates our God’s saving power, from Eph. 6:17. The deer represents the human soul thirsting for Christ (Psalm 42:1,2). Christ’s foot crushes the serpent, Satan, as foretold in Gen. 3:15). Below the arm of Christ we see a tower, in the heavenly Jerusalam (Rev. 21:2).

How it fits into contest

My artwork reveals Christ as the Risen and Exalted King, who empowers his people for spiritual battle. We are united in Christ and are ambassadors for him (Eph. 6:20). The foot of Christ crushes Satan and evil powers (Eph. 6:12). Through his death and resurrection Christ has won the war, but we still have battles to fight with his help and power. The little book below the candlestick is a Bible. This is the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit which our Triune God has given us to fight spiritual battles (Eph. 6:17), and also represents the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15).

How to Purchase this Artwork

Please email me to purchase the original artwork (26" x 44") or a reproduction printed as a fabric banner, at:

Other Goods & Services Available from this Artist

I offer: Visual Art, Books, Ministry Resources (including visual liturgies and fabric banners); workshops on visual art, sacraments and theology. Please inquire through email at:

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