I'm delighted to share an icon design with you for this site. If you have read the first couple of posts here, you know that I am an artist as well as a student of theology and a zombie lover. My second post, Working on the Art, linked to a beautiful tattoo design that I located on the web. A bit of my theological observations regarding the bio hazard sign can be found in that post. Building on that, I was inspired to craft my own icon. You can find it below:
|Theological Zomnbie Student Icon - Acrylic on Paper - Art by Trista L. Wynne - 5 June 2011|
In this acrylic painting, the symbol for the Triune-God is quite large and lays the foundation for everything. Christians confess belief in one God who has been revealed in three particular persons, usually referred to as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. God exists in full community, so we can be confident that relationships and communion with one another is important to God. When we struggle in our own human interactions, we can confidently come before the Lord, trusting that the Lord will have compassion on us and help us. The Trinity symbol is silver, reminding us that our creative and loving God is wholly other, yet we know through Jesus that God is not distant, but instead even closer to us than the most compassionate of mothers or fathers.
Next, I have placed a bio hazard sign a bit askew on top of the Trinity. The bio hazard sign has come to represent our insatiable appetite for destructive activities. (I thought about painting a broken earth, but I think some of my fellow theologians go a bit overboard with the ideas of a tainted earth, broken creation or original sin and the like. I'm more likely to lean toward the Eastern Orthodox view of a cosmic forgetfulness, or with the Hebraic understanding of missing the mark as a definition for the word sin.)
As stated in a previous post, I think the bio hazard sign looks like a warped Trinity symbol. We've simply shifted our gaze from the creative and loving God towards ourselves, so the lines that would typically form the Trinity sign are rotated inwards. As a result of our self-centered thinking, our relationships have suffered, so the circles are broken. Lastly, we have desired to become like gods ourselves by taking life and death into our own hands, and so the symbol here is blood red.
As a Christian, I believe that Jesus has come to set things right again. We know the depth of love which God has for us in that God has entered our existence, becoming flesh, blood, sweat, tears, emotion and everything that comes with being a human being, and even being willing to enter into the realm of the dead so that we would not fear our own mortality, either as individuals or as the entire world. The freedom from fear comes through the cross. I believe that we were rescued from ourselves at the moment God first conceived the idea of becoming incarnated in Jesus, but I understand why a lot of Christians look at the cross as the point of salvation, since that is when we became free from the bondage of the fear of death.
On top of the cross is the new creation. I believe that the Spirit of Life, who danced over the waters of chaos before everything took shape, and who was released afresh in the celebration of Pentecost, is in the process of making all things new again. John's gospel says that when Jesus' side was pierced on the cross, blood and water spilled out. Many theologians believe that the Spirit of Life was released from Jesus' body at that time and that She (the Spirit) has been filling the earth with the Presence of God from that day until now, and will continue to fill the earth with the glory of the Lord until the day when all things are brought to the fullness of completion.
There will be a day when all of our seemingly insatiable appetites for violence, hatred and destruction will be no more. God speaks through the prophets saying,
In days to come
the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established
as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised up above the hills.
Peoples shall stream to it,
and many nations shall come and say:
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths."
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more;
but they shall all sit under their own vines
and under their own fig trees,
and no one shall make them afraid;
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
I look forward to that day. The bio hazard sign will take on a new shape and have a whole new purpose. For now, it reminds us who we are, and perhaps through my art, it will remind us of whose we are. May we remember that we are created to be in community, and that we have a great number of companions who have already walked the way that is before us. May our eyes be fixed upon Christ instead of on ourselves, and may we be encouraged along the road of life.
May the peace of Christ be with you always. Amen.