Artwork & Concept Writing by Lydia Sharp of Terra Nova Troy, NY
This Advent season, as we approach with excitement the celebration of Christ’s birth, we are reflecting on the character of God through His many names, and how each are fully realized in Christ’s arrival.
While each week has an illustration that represents a specific name of God, it felt important and necessary to create a composite image that uses a “part” of each a name to create a “whole”. In doing so, there is a visual that represents the Lord’s character as one, but multifaceted in nature. For each of the eight weeks, there is a graphic element in grey referencing the name, that is complemented by an illustration that ties into an Old Testament passage. Together, the artwork combines each of the graphic elements into a single, complete image reflecting the complexity of our God.
JEHOVAH SHAMMAH : The Lord is Present
The graphic is a square, referencing the precise measurements commanded by God for the temple in Ezekiel 43. Fire represents the burnt offerings, and reflects how the Lord is still present with us now, through the Holy Spirit, just as the Lord was present in the temple.
JEHOVAH NISSI : The Lord, My Banner
In the passage, Exodus 17, the success of Israel in the war against Amalek is dependent on whether Moses’ arms are raised or lowered. Just as one may hold their arms up in victory, the Israelites were gaining when Moses’ arms were raised. The graphic “V” represents Moses’ arms raised by Aaron and Hur. A sword reminds us of the battle we face, in which the Lord is our victory.
JEHOVAH TSIDKENU : The Lord Our Righteousness
In Jeremiah 23, the Lord declares He will raise up for David a righteous Branch. This illustration is a more literal take on the metaphor for Jesus, with a vibrant spring branch. The graphic element represents the points of a crown; both for King David and, ultimately, the lineage leading to the King of Kings.
JEHOVAH ROHI : The Lord Is My Shepherd
Like a shepherd leads the flock, the Lord is pointing and guiding us, as we too, are lost sheep. To represent this, the three lines are pointed upwards and forwards, as a guiding arrow. In referencing the relationship of a shepherd to his sheep, the illustration is of Stachys byzantina, better known as “Lamb’s Ear.”
JEHOVAH ROPHE : The Lord Who Heals
After the Israelites had fled from Egypt, and while enduring the wilderness, the Lord turns the bitter water sweet, in Exodus 15. This imagery is shown in the graphic of water. Just as it is still used today for its healing properties on burns, aloe is both filled with water, and used alongside myrrh in biblical embalmings.
JEHOVAH M’KADESH : The Lord Who Makes Holy
In Leviticus 20, the Lord declares, “You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.” If we are to be set apart, then Christ must be at the center. The graphic of a perfect central circle references this imagery, with rays of light that push out the darkness.
JEHOVAH JIREH : The Lord Will Provide
In Genesis 22, moments before the sacrifice of Abraham’s son Issac, the Lord provides a ram to be used in his place. An illustration of a ram’s horn is a symbol of this provision. The graphic of an incomplete circle reflects our brokenness, and need for God.
JEHOVAH SHALOM : The Lord Is Peace
The olive branch has become a symbol of peace in many cultures, but can be found biblically in the Genesis story of Noah, in which the olive branch was returned by the dove when the land was no longer flooded. The graphic is derived from Judges 6, in which Gideon builds an altar called, “The Lord is Peace.” This passage takes place under a terebinth tree, whose leaves grow outwards into an umbrella like shape.