Leaning on Amy-Jill Levine's book, Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner's Guide to Holy Week, we will get up close and personal with the passion story. Each week, we will explore a part of the story utilizing artwork. Starting with the whole picture, we will move our focus closer. "Freeze-frame" one portion, one set of characters, so we might more fully enter the story ourselves.
Below, you will find the images we used in worship along with questions for further reflection. If you would like to explore these frames of Jesus' last days with others, come Sundays for worship or Wednesday evenings for prayer and conversation around how Jesus' passion becomes our passion.
Ash Wednesday - February 26, 2020
The art is Carl Spitzweg’s “Ash Wednesday.
Our Lenten journey of 40 days - not counting Sundays - begins by remembering and giving thanks for what God can do with ashes. How God can take our regrets, our laments, and all the ways we have been harmed or harmed others, mix it with God's steadfast love and forgiveness to prepare a canvas for a new story to take shape.
Ponder the image, video, and prayer reflection offered by the Ignatian community to begin the practice of exploring artwork to help us find ourselves in God's story.
Weekly Lenten Reflections
Take time to look at each week's artwork below and place yourself "in the picture" by choosing any character in the painting. Contemplate the following questions as you enter these Gospel stories of Jesus' Passion:
What is your chosen character noticing in this moment? What do they hear? See? Smell?
What can you imagine they are thinking? How might they be feeling?
Why are they there? What do you imagine they were doing before this moment? What might they do afterwards in response to being involved in this moment?
What would you have thought, felt, and done if you were painted into this scene?
What will you do now that you have witnessed Jesus' Passion?
By focusing in on this frame of Jesus' story, how will this "zooming in" create sacred frames surrounding moments of your life, so you may more fully experience your passion and life with God?
Anonymous (German School, 19th Century). Mary Anoints Jesus’ Feet, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http:// diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act- imagelink.pl?RC=56136.
Week 3: "The Teaching" - Matthew 22:15-22
Tissot, James Jacques Joseph, 1836-1902. The Tribute Money, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl? RC=55996. Original source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Tribute_Money_(Le_denier_de_César)_- _James_Tissot.jpg
Week 2: "The Temple" - John 2:13-21
Aertsen, Pieter. Cleansing of the Temple from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http:// diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56496. Original source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Pieter_Aertsen_Christ_cleansing_the_Temple.png.
Week 1: "The Parade" - Matthew 21:1-11
Swanson, John August. Entry into the City, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http:// diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56544. Original source: www.johnaugustswanson.com - copyright 1990 by John August Swanson.