Micro-church Reflection and Discussion
No video this week! A biblical text, art and questions will guide your reflection and discussion on the story of Jesus’ flight to Egypt from Matthew 2:13-23. For micro-churches that have kids or teenagers, reflecting on this piece of art is a great way to invite/engage discussion. There are no wrong answers to these questions! (Thanks to Cisca Ireland-Verwoerd for the material she provided.)
Read Matthew 2:13-23 (Flight to Egypt) aloud slowly.
This event takes place soon after Jesus is born and has a dark quality to it—not exactly full of Christmas “comfort and joy”. For this reason, it is not often the subject of sermons or Bible studies, though this story reflects the current experience of an estimated 11-12 million refugees worldwide who are forced to flee their homes due to political instability or persecution.
What part of the story strikes you as you read?
Background Info to Art and Artist
Contemporary artist He Qi (pronounced Huh Chee) grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). In order to escape hard labor in the fields, he started painting Mao portraits. One day he saw Rafael’s painting of Madonna and Child in an old art magazine and was immediately drawn to the peaceful smile of Jesus’ mother, leading to his interest in Christianity.
“The Flight to Egypt” (1951) is a semi-abstract painting where people, animals and elements of the landscape are recognizable, but not realistically painted. Feelings and meaning are conveyed through line, colour and shape.
Take time to quietly reflect on the painting accessible here.
If you like, play this song while you reflect. Click here or next column.
After reflecting, share with one another brief responses to these prompts:
Choose a few Individual elements below to discuss, or just allow your group discussion to generate more questions and observations. Whatever you decide, end with the questions at the very bottom.
Notice the several straight, black lines that cross the painting from side to side, or that stop or start at the intersection with another line.
Consider the artist’s choice of colours.