Visio Divina Bible Study

Visio Divina Bible Study

Let There Be
Acrylic on canvas
By Lauren Wright Pittman
Used with permission
© A Sanctified Art (sanctifiedart.org)

The painting, Let There Be, was chosen as a visual reflection for the Season of Creation. You are invited to prayerfully reflect upon the image. The Artist’s Statement, included below, and the text of Genesis 1:1-2:4a might also guide your visual reflection.

Visio Divina, latin for “divine seeing,” is a method of meditation, reflection, and prayer through a process of intentional seeing. Visio Divina extends the 6th century Benedictine practice of Lectio Divina, latin for “divine reading,”  by the use of visual imagery.

Steps for Viso Divina:
Centre yourself by taking a deep breath and relaxing your body as best you can. Allow your shoulders to lower away from your ears. Let your arms rest in your lap and let your feet be fully supported by the floor. Feel the weight of your body held by the chair. Spend this time in quiet. Open yourself up to God’s voice.

(pause)

Take a deep breath in and out. Continue breathing deeply as you read the image. In this moment, simply notice the visual qualities of what you see: colours, line, shape, form, space, and texture.

(pause)

Now, take a deeper look. What parts of the image are your eyes most drawn to? What parts of the image did you quickly brush by or overlook?

(pause)

And now, use your imagination:
Imagine yourself in this piece. Where would you be and how would you interact with what surrounds you?

Look at the figure(s). What story do you assign to each of them? What emotions would you give to them?

Finally, observe your own emotions. How does this image make you feel?

Read the Artist Statement
The creation narrative in Genesis [Genesis 1:1-2:4a] cries out to me as an affirmation of everyone’s creative voice. God literally speaks creation into being. God’s words result in the swirling out of light and water and sky and earth and fruit and trees and stars and winged birds and sea monsters and cattle and creeping things and wild animals and humankind and rest. This kaleidoscope of astounding creativity comes spinning and rippling out of God’s creative voice. How powerful the creative mind is. How powerful it is when it is unleashed and shared with the world.

Genesis 1 has always moved in a radial fashion in my imagination. I decided to create rippling rings of creation, one building on the next, to show that the work of creation is not finished with God’s rest—the work continues. The work of creation doesn’t end with Jesus’ death—he still lives. The new creation has just begun to unfurl. We are called into the active and often difficult work of creating beauty in the world. Our act of continuing God’s creation is the act of bringing justice into the world. Beauty begets beauty.

 

 

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