Each week at Sojourn Gathered, the other pastors and I strive to be faithful to God’s call and the Bible text we’re studying. We also provide you with sermon notes. One thing I love about these notes is that we have new artwork, created in community, on each weekly cover.
For the past few months we’ve been in the book of Genesis. And our volunteer liturgical artists are a big part of that (“liturgical artist” is a fancy term that simply refers to artists who help with Sunday services: communion table, stage, bulletin covers, and more). Most weeks, these artists create a cover image that literally represents whatever Genesis story we’re covering in the sermon (see past images here). But this coming Sunday we’re studying the sign of the covenant between God and Abraham: circumcision. So…
That could be gross, right? I don’t think you want us to be too literal with that cover image. But I praise God for our wonderfully talented, Bible-loving artists. You can see the image we’re using above, and then read this Artist Statement from the designer, Chris Bennett:
No one rushes to sign up to draw circumcision for the church bulletin. At least I didn’t. Sojourn visual arts guru Michael Winters and I originally had no idea what to do with this week’s image. After a suggestion from a friend we decided to go with some sort of heart image.
Below is the first rough idea for the direction we thought about heading. It was better than some ideas, but I wasn’t happy with it.
The final image is a heart of stone chiseled into a heart of flesh, echoing the promises in Ezekiel 36 and Jeremiah 24 that God will replace our heart of stone with a heart of flesh. Romans 2:28-29 says, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart.” Circumcision, which was the mark of the people of Israel, crumbles and is chipped away by faith in Jesus, the true mark of God’s people.
What do you think about this image? And more importantly, how has God been chiseling your own heart of stone into a heart of flesh?