Two holidays can easily be considered the most important of the modern Christian calendar: Christmas and Easter, with the latter arguably being at the top of the list. Because of this, in the fall of 2019, I decided that I wanted to add a way to set apart these holidays and the preceding seasons from the rest of the year for my family.
As I’ve stated on numerous occasions, I love art and I also feel that it has the ability to naturally offer opportunities for quiet contemplation and meditation. By looking at an object or painting that presents a subject in a beautiful way, we can quiet our minds and truly focus on that subject while also taking in the beauty not only of the piece of art itself but the scene or story it portrays as well.
For Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, we focus on the ministry of Jesus here on earth. His life is an enormously common theme in art history and there are so many rich and beautiful images that offer more ways to contemplate that as well as His example of love. I love discovering how artists have interpreted common themes and portrayed Him, especially during those three years before His death.
You can find Messiah: Lenten Art Devotions Volume II along with the six accompanying carefully-curated, high-quality prints in the shop. The devotions guide, which can be ordered as a professionally printed book that includes the prints or a PDF you print at home, offers an art selection for each week of Lent as well as Bible readings, a hymn, and a poem to go along with each painting. Also, as with last year, I have added a resource section for the hymns that includes links to sheet music and audio files. The PDF option includes printable versions of the pieces and I also offer professional prints on 16# cardstock with a smooth finish that is durable as well as beautiful framed or simply propped up on a table.
As with the Advent Devotions guide, this does differ from the picture study aids in that I have not also included information about the paintings themselves. My vision for adding art into our liturgical traditions was not to include more academic opportunities, but rather more possibilities for contemplation and meditation. I hope you will find them helpful in adding opportunities for contemplation during your season of Lent!