Category Archives: Being Human

May 31

The Ascension of Christ

In John 16, we read of Christ’s bodily return to his Father. He tells his disciples, “Now I am going to the one who sent me.” This is called The Ascension of Christ and has been a popular subject matter of the Old Master’s painters, such as Caravaggio, Vermeer, and Rembrandt, whom Salvador Dali, the […]

May 28

Disappointed Souls

Disappointment is a common experience. Even Jesus faced his fair share. In Luke 10, he sends his disciples to spread the message of the Kingdom of God but warns them to expect rejection. He reminds them of the towns who have disappointed him saying, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the […]

May 24

An Allegory of Communion

The fruit in this painting is so real you may feel as if you can reach out and pluck a grape. It was painted by a Flemish artist named Alexander Coosemans and showcases an arrangement of still life symbols. Grapes symbolize Christ’s blood, while wheat stalks represent the bread that is his body. Two cornucopias […]

May 08

The Good Shepherd

This is such a tender painting of Christ holding a lamb. It is based on the parable in Luke 15 where Jesus says, “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds […]

April 18

Blind Faith

The title of this painting is Le Désespéré (The Desperate Man) by French artist Gustave Courbet. There is something about the wide-open eyes and hair-clinging hands that draws the viewer into the man’s state of desperation. This is how I imagine my expression to be after watching the evening news or reading the daily paper. Courbet […]

April 13

The Road of Disappointment

A few days after Jesus has risen, we hear the story of two of Jesus’ followers walking down the road to a town called Emmaus, dejected by the events of the past few days. Along the way they are joined by Jesus, but they do not recognize him. They convince Jesus to stay with them […]

March 28

Whose Agenda?

“The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.”The words of Judas found in Mark 14:44 This dramatic scene depicts the moment Jesus is arrested; the immediate chaos caused by Judas’ kiss that identified him as the Son of God to the soldiers. The seven figures in the painting […]

March 18

Facing Our Burdens

The artist of this grand painting, Sebastiano del Piombo, was among good company in Italy. His teachers and mentors were Michelangelo and Raphael, even though these two never got along. Following Raphael’s death in 1520, historian Giorgio Vasari stated that “first place in the art of painting was unanimously granted by all, thanks to the […]

March 06

The Battle is Real

Way back when, around 600 AD, a monk named John Climacus wrote a treatise called The Ladder of Divine Ascent. It is considered an important work for the Russian Orthodox Church and St. John wrote it as a way to represent the monastic path in simple, understandable language. It became an essential book for monks […]

February 24

Wonderfully Imperfect

A little bit of history. Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, from 1940 to 1945, and again from 1951 to 1955. For his 80th birthday in 1954 he received a present—a portrait of himself, commissioned by members of the House of Commons and House of Lords. The painter’s name was […]