God’s Grace Story

3 05 2008

David Arms, a well known and respected artist who hails from Nashville, set out to capture the story of Scripture and God’s grace on canvass.  The result which he calls “God’s Story” is a large painting that stretches across the chancel of a large church in Franklin Tennessee. It is a masterful portrayal of God’s redemptive work.  Each panel of the painting powerfully shows us the four connecting parts of God’s gracious plan of redemption for His creation.

In the first panel we see Creation.  Here we have life with clear blue skies, beautiful birds who are no doubt singing, a strong vibrantly alive oak, and a bright red apple representing God’s gracious provision.  The second panel, representing the Fall and sin, stands in stark contrast to the first.  Its somber and dark hues leave no doubt that an unthinkable loss has occurred.  Clouds are in the sky.  Black crows, symbolizing the death that has come, are perched upon a leafless and lifeless tree which sits lower than any of the trees in the other three panels.  In fact, the entire panel seems to sit lower as if the entire frame and what it represents has fallen.

In the third panel Redemption has come.  God has come to make all things new.  Here we see the agent of redemption, Christ, symbolized by a cross which sits in the center of a restored oak tree.  Though the sky is not as clear and blue as in the first frame, it is obviously clearing.  Flying around this “tree of love” are three butterflies who proclaim, through their simple beauty, the new life that has been won through Christ victory over death.  Above the tree is an egg, which might at first seem an odd and out of place symbol; however, the egg perfectly communicates what has occurred here and is still occurring.  The egg tells us that life in Christ is here but that a much greater and fuller life is on the horizon because of Christ sacrifice and victory.

Finally, the forth panel which declares the full arrival of God’s redemption, His renewal, His restoration of all that was before the fall to a greater state than before.  The Consummation of the Kingdom of God has arrived!  Notice that the elements in the frame literally spill over and can not be contained within it.  The skies is clearer and bluer!  The Tree is larger, higher and fuller! The fruit is more plentiful and the birds are larger and and more striking in their beauty!  The grace of God has invaded ever facet of His creation and redeemed it! 

Look at the story of God’s grace.  Our creator’s mercy, love, and grace can be seen in every frame.  If you look close enough and open your heart to the truth and love it reveals you may even see yourself in the story.   My prayer is that you do.

 

*If you would like to make a donation to New Hope Academy, a private Christian school in Nashville, and receive a limited signed print of the painting “God’s Story” by David Arms, contact Patrick Sauder at psauder@nhfranklin.org.  New Hope ask for donations of $40 plus $5 for shipping and handling.  The address is New Hope Academy 1820 Downs Blvd. Franklin, TN 37064. 

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7 responses

3 05 2008
God’s Grace Story

[…] jeffsdeepthoughts wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptDavid Arms, a well known and respected artist who hails from Nashville, set our to capture the story of Scripture and God’s grace on canvass. The result which he calls “God’s Story” is a large painting which stretches across the chancel … […]

3 05 2008
Stormy

Sweet!
I have to admit I did not understand this painting until you told us the title –
then it all fell into place.
Thank you for posting this blog to exlpain it further.
You have a wonderful insight into things and a way of making it real to us.
See you tomorrow!

4 05 2008
dpcpastor

Thanks Wendy!
I really do love this painting and it grows on me the more I see it. Everything has a purpose and makes a statement. What a wonderful visual of “God’s Story” of redemption.

10 05 2008
~keith

This picture graphically reminds me of the ESSENTIALS OF OUR FAITH from the EPC

Being estranged from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. God credits His right-eousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, thereby justifies them in His sight. Only such as are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.

22 05 2008
Matt

That painting goes perfectly with your blog. Both visually and conceptually! I really enjoy this blog, it is very refreshing.

24 05 2008
bshelley

It is so amazing to see how differently poeple would depict God’s story. Thanks for sharing the picture and your thoughts on it. Bryan

28 09 2010
dpcpastor

Thank you Patrick. I have already bought three of the prints. Scotty was one of my profs in seminary and told me about it originally.

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