Getting To Know God
El Olam - Eternally Unchanging Greatness
The Everlasting God - The Word Of God - The Greatness Of God - The Immutable God
The Faithful Light In The Sky
When the Bible refers to the rainbow, it clearly speaks to God’s eternal faithfulness. It’s not easy to capture an image of God’s faithfulness in tangible form, but with a little luck and a polarizing filter, a rainbow is quite doable. This spectrum of colors above this rock formation at the beach turned out to be an awesome way to present the symbol that God chose as a sign of His covenant with Noah.
The True G.O.A.T.
Being big football fans, hearing the phrase “G.O.A.T.” is a pretty common thing. Being Bible teachers, you recognize that the ideas proposed by the sports world are in great conflict with the scriptures. Can a mere man be “the greatest of all time” if one day they will die? Yet, we knew that the image that God selected to manifest Himself as “the greatest” was unique too. He came as flesh, but humbly as a bondservant, referred to as a lamb. The idea of God being the true “G.O.A.T.” but as a lamb, was a fun idea. So, we set out for an animal sanctuary in Solvang and chased these little guys around until we could get a good shot. God’s greatness is truly amazing when you consider that, of all the animals He made, He chose this silly looking creature to be the image of His greatness. Who but God could do anything great and powerful with a creature that looks so weak and simple?
When studying the Bible in depth, it becomes clear to see that God works in patterns. These patterns are really exposed when looking at the testimony of Israel. God declares a promise to them. They mess up. God warns them. They rebel. They get judged. God reassures His promises in the midst of the judgment. God corrects issues in His judgments. God restores. Repeat. This pattern in the scriptures is a testament to God’s unchanging faithfulness. So, to communicate that principle, we wanted to show a repeating pattern in nature. The idea of a vineyard was appealing to us, not only because of the patterns of the rows of grapevines, but also because of all of the symbolism the LORD provides about Israel, grape vines, wine, and His work to produce something good out of that. Our second trip to Cambria was with the objective to get this image. While at a winery, being the only ones there who weren’t looking for wine, a security guard spotted us walking around looking terribly out of place. He approached us asking if we needed help, at which point we explained why we were there. He was kind enough to lead us away from the debauchery, for a private tour of the vineyard, where he pointed us to this particular spot, promising that the sun would put on a show when it began to set over the hills. He was right!
Since The Beginning
The Bible teaches that over the years, God’s work appeared to be different in some ways, but the full context of scripture proves that God has always been the same. God’s unchanging nature is proved by the patterns of His work. When He came as flesh as Jesus, He might have looked different, but His substance as God was the same. We wanted to creatively show a repeating pattern – the same person being manifested over and over again. It seemed easy enough to think of: Get two mirrors and click away. Actually getting this shot was a lot harder than we thought! Finding mirrors that were big enough, that were movable, and where the lighting worked, was not an easy task. We were actually able to get this shot on the last day of our Cambria trip right before checking out of our hotel room. Doing one last sweep of the room to make sure we had all of our stuff, we closed the bathroom door, only to find our reflection in the exact manner we had first imagined this shot! The mirror on the back of the door was big enough, and pointed right to the giant mirror over the sink. So we ran back to the car, got the camera, put the stand halfway in the shower, and played with the position of the door until we were able to get this pattern. Seeing how hard it was to capture this pattern made us appreciate the unchanging patterns of God’s work all the more!
In Ephesians 3:20-21, Paul used the phrase “exceedingly abundantly” to describe the work that God does to conform us into His image on account of grace. Looking at the first word that phrase, we knew we needed an image that communicated “too much.” Looking at the word “abundantly,” we knew we needed to deal with a concept that was good by nature and satisfying. God often uses the concept of water to describe the manner of His spiritual cleansing, the manner by which He provides eternal life, and the manner by which He sustains eternal life. It isn’t just that God provides fresh water to drink freely, but that He has an excessive supply of it so that it is almost “too much” to handle! So, our idea was to show an overflowing glass of fresh water on a bright hot day. When we get thirsty, He’ll not just quench our thirst, but overflow us with the freshness of His goodness!
This image was fairly obvious for us. The Apostle John began his first epistle by emphasizing the validity of his testimony because he was an eyewitness to the things he was about to write about concerning Jesus. Seeing John’s emphasis on his opportunity to physically see Jesus and the things He did, we wanted to take a photo of an eye focused on a person. In macro photo, shows not only an eye, but also the reflection of the one they are looking at in the pupil. Likewise, our witness of Christ should leave an imprint from the reflection of His unchanging glory. Our worldview should always be with the image of the LORD in the forefront of our focus.