December 5, 2021 Lectionary Texts — Year C
Baruch 5:1-9 or Malachi 3:1-4
This painting features the hand of God. Commonly found in early Christian and Byzantine icon imagery, this gesture carries the special meaning of sovereignty and blessing. The scribbled texture in the background of this piece was created by scraping and jabbing a brush handle in the wet paint. The dot pattern forming the hand is inspired by a technique used in Celtic Christian Scripture illumination where the space between forms or letters is filled with tiny red dots — a visual to indicate the living Word.
Questions to help you explore this artwork with the texts:
How is Malachi’s image of God as Refiner reflected in this piece?
What characteristic of God do you most sense in this image?
How is this image a symbol for the the message John proclaims in the wilderness?
If you are overwhelmed trying to connect this image with the questions, break it down by looking at just colors, textures, what is ordered vs. disordered, movement or the energy/feeling in the art.
Feel free to share answers here in the comments. Also, remember, if you have a question, please ask, there are no dumb questions when we are exploring art! I am here to help you and guide you. Like anything, this kind of exploration becomes easier the more you engage and practice.