This commissioned painting by Bryn Gillette beautifully shows the first part of Lausanne’s four-fold vision for global mission, which is ‘The Gospel for Every Person’.
Below is Bryn’s Artist Statement about the painting. You can also see a short video of the unveiling of this painting at the Younger Leaders Gathering in Indonesia.
Christmas is a special time of the year to remember the birth of Jesus Christ and the reason he came to earth. He is the good news for every person. May we rejoice in the privilege of being bearers of this good news to all the nations!
Merry Christmas from the Lausanne Movement and all God’s best for the new year.
Artist Statement by Bryn Gillette, 26 July 2016
I was so honored and so challenged by this opportunity to paint on the monumental subject of ‘The Gospel for Every Person’. What image could possibly capture the magnitude of God’s heart for the limitless diversity of humanity and culture?
The process of painting for me was the act of wrestling with this question, and I could feel myself stretching internally to try to embrace and internalize the scope of God’s Great Commission.
The result is my painted prayer that the gospel reach every person on earth, and my hope is that the Holy Spirit will stretch and inspire its viewers with an increased passion to share the good news of Jesus Christ even as I have been changed painting it.
I began the image with the outline of the world map, intentionally flipping it on its side and putting the Pacific in the center to challenge our assumed perceptions of the world.
As the multitude of figures were layered onto the image, I had to repaint the map several times, and each time I found myself meandering across the borderless continents with my paintbrush, or highlighting their edges with a golden orange, I sensed that this was my own prophetic act of intercession that the gospel be brought to every corner of the world.
I found myself praying for the nations as I passed over them with colors, thinking of the countless lives, stories, and value of people in each region. The cross of blue-white light in the center of the map is oriented through the equator and the international dateline, as the words ‘A New Day’ kept ringing in my ears while I worked.
The second layer of the image was the most time-consuming, containing vignettes of multiple figures from several major regions of the world. I strove to celebrate and honor various ages, genders, walks of life, customs, and cultures as a cross-section of all people, so that each person who sees the image might find a familiar and personal connection to it, even as we pray they would similarly receive the gospel. I tried to align the figure gatherings in proximity to the continents where they originate, and mirror the kaleidoscopic beauty of humanity.
The central figure was the last to arrive, and was not a part of my preliminary concepts. Before this fisherman casting his net was painted, the image felt like a handful of jigsaw puzzle pieces scattered across the surface of the world, largely lacking unity and harmony. As I prayed for a way to bring the painting into aesthetic harmony, I felt the Lord inspired this figure to bring it into spiritual harmony as well.
I could see the apostle Peter casting his net over the side of his boat, catching so many fish that he and his companions nearly sank two boats. That was the embryonic moment of the Great Commission born in Peter, a prophetic foreshadowing that he and those to come after him (us) would become bountiful ‘fishers of men’.
In the painting, the casted net surrounds the entire world, sparkling with the glowing light of the central cross, scattered across every part of the globe, reflecting the current population densities in bursts of blue and white, and groaning that the growing light would expand and spread into the remaining darkness beyond . . .
Unveiling the Painting at YLG2016