Praying with Art: “The Beautiful Mess”

Painting Status: This painting belongs to Woodland Hills Church of St. Paul, MN. It was inspired by a sermon by its Pastor Greg Boyd Phd.

Matthew 16:9-21

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Spend 5 minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the breath and listening to Jesus say over and over, “Take up your cross and follow me.”
  • Pray with this piece of art in the way of Lectio Divina.
  • Spend the first 3 to 5 minutes listening to the piece of art.  What image captures your attention?  What meaning do you attach to this image for you?
  • Spend another 3 to 5 minutes engaged with this piece of art.  What do you see more deeply?  What is God’s message for you in this message?
  • Spend a third 3 to 5 minutes with “The Beautiful Mess.”  What cross are you bearing today?  Listen for a call to action from God.
  • Give thanks to God for the expression of art, imagination, and any new messages you have received today.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, August 28, 2011,  the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Exodus 3:1-15
Psalm 105: 1-6, 23-26, 45c
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author.
Permission to use in not-for-profit settings Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.


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