"Looking At" Psalm 133

Continuing the thought from last week's blog post that visuals connected with worship don't always have to be stoles or worship banners here are two examples of art that could accompany worship. Psalm 133 is part of the lectionary for many worshipers this week. After I traveled to Haiti earlier this summer and lived in community for a week this is a theme I have thought of often since. Isn't it a beautiful how the Psalmist descriptively compares the living together in peace to that of the pleasantness of anointing with holy oil? I think you might also enjoy these two artistic interpretations....
Psalm 133, Ben Shahn

Ben Shahn's interpretation of this Psalm reminds me of two living together that outwardly appear to be different. But the dynamics of the illustrations around these 'birds' reflect the unity and joy of living in love and peace. This brings great delight, blessings and rewards for the now but ultimately scripture tells us that it will be for the forever. Ben Shan's art tends to have the sophistication of reducing an image to the simplest form to relayi the message. How does this relate to the message in Psalm 133?

Psalm 133, Mark Lawrence
Above we see a second interpretation of Psalm 133 by contemporary artist Mark Lawrence. The energy this artist has created in his depiction of unity is magnificent. The blessings definitely seem as infinite as the drops of dew as the Psalmist records. You can read more about Mark's work here. I find the artist's color palette to be interesting. As your eyes travel around the art work what types of emotions are conjured up? Do you feel a call to action to forgive one another as Christ taught us to do and strive harder for peace and unity? 


Using visuals can draw us closer to Scripture and help us grow in our faith. Just a reminder--if you use images such as the above to make a connection to the Word give credit where credit is due and if the images is contemporary then seek the artist's permission first.