Holy Week: Art and Gospel Reflections

This year for Holy Week we’ve invited artists and missionaries with Serge to help us see Easter through the lens of Psalm 103.


Bless the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits—
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
and crowns you with love and compassion.

– Psalm 103: 1-4

If we hear the story of Holy Week and are curious or horrified at why Jesus was being crucified, Psalm 103 holds several clues. King David declares these good things about God:

That God would forgive and heal.
That God would remove our sins as far as the east is from the west.
That He would not treat us as our sins deserve.
That He will remember that we are “but dust.”

In this psalm, we see the love and the cost to make those words our gospel reality.

God treated sin as sin deserved, but did not treat us as our sins deserved. Instead, He Himself redeemed our lives from the pit and removed our sins as far from us as the east from the west. 

Each day of Holy Week, we will publish a new piece of art, to consider, maybe in different or deeper ways, that we dusty people have been rescued from sin and crowned with compassion.

You are invited to worship and to respond as David did: “Bless the LORD, O my soul!”


"Easter Sunrise"

By Bob Phillips, Serge missionary in the Netherlands

“Bless the LORD, O my soul,” says David in Psalm 103, “who redeems your life…”

In our everyday, day-to-day lives, our calendar days are getting closer to Good Friday and Easter. In the day-to-day events recorded by the Gospel authors, Jesus, our Redeemer, is getting closer to Jerusalem, to His arrest and Passion, His death for the sin of the world, His resurrection for evidence of His true identity.


“As a Father Has Compassion on His Children”

Lament by Daniel Robbins, Serge missionary in Malawi

Artwork by Bob Phillips, Serge missionary in the Netherlands

The last year has been really, really tough as we prepared for the mission field. We’ve been in a constant state of transition, which also means a constant state of stress (so many PCR tests, visa paperwork, tickets, planning and purchasing, etc.), and because we moved three times in a year, we’ve also been in a constant state of loss. Losing and gaining and re-losing friends all year taxes your heart.

It has especially taxed our children, leaving them sad and lonely in ways that pierce us and make us wonder what we are doing. Added to all that, we arrived in Malawi, and our temporary housing was filthy and cockroach-infested. 

Yet, I remember those days while sitting in our newly renovated and permanent house. Many of the troubles, and problems have been resolved, and I was sitting in peace with no bugs around me, enjoying my time.


“The Cursing of the Fig Tree”

By Bob Phillips, Serge missionary in the Netherlands

During Holy Week, the Bible shows us a cluster of ‘acted parables,’ as Jesus enters the great city, not on a conqueror’s war-horse, but on a humble donkey, as the prophets foretold: He looks for the fruit of repentant faith and finds none; He looks for fruit on a fig tree; He cleanses the temple, His Father’s house. What are these acted parables pointing to?


“Flight from Paris to Krakow; A Lament”

Lament by Thomas L, Serge missionary serving in Spain
Graphic Design by Janelle Delia

​​I wrote this lament on a flight to Poland to help in relief efforts responding to the war in Ukraine, immersed in the news and images of invasion.

In verse 19 we read, “His kingdom rules over all.” While we are so focused on the earthly, “natural”, kingdoms around us, His supernatural one rules over them all. Underneath the allusions to events in Ukraine, our desire is for Christ’s death, resurrection, and ongoing work to bring righteousness and justice to all the oppressed, as Psalm 103:6 so elegantly says.

In the different accounts of the Garden of Gethsemane, I was struck by how Jesus seems to be giving in to the “natural order” of evil and decay, and yet that even in that seeming forfeiture, He notes that it is but an “hour.” Evil does not have the final say. It is Jesus who declares “it is finished.”



By Constance, Serge Church Planter and Artist in the U.K.

In the garden, Jesus wrestles with the call of God to suffer and die—Jesus’ human struggle to actively trust in what He knew to be God’s good plan.

In Jesus, God welcomed suffering and the struggle of faith into God’s own life. The promises of God’s goodness from Psalm 103, scrawled desperately on the cracking surface of this piece, represent that struggle—the fight to hold onto the goodness of God in the face of evil and death.

The bloodred line cutting through the painting and the black-and red-tinged feather represent the way God welcomes into the life of the Trinity the suffering and death that we mortals experience on earth.



By Constance, Serge Church Planter and Artist in the U.K.

Good Friday changed the world, though no one could see it at the time. Jesus’ blood dropped, unnoticed, to the dirt on that day. Now we look to that same blood as a promise of salvation and a new world to come, where all things will be made new. And impact in the dust that changed it and us forever.



By Constance, Serge Church Planter and Artist in the U.K.

Holy Saturday reminds of the day that Jesus was dead. The day that His followers grieved in silence, waiting to attend to His broken body, wondering how to move forward after their shattering loss. God was at work in the silence, but they could not see it.

Underneath, in the unseen, everything was changing. But they had to live through that day of silence first. So often this is the way of faith—the long silence while we grieve and wait for God, not knowing what God may be about in the unseen.



By Constance, Serge Church Planter and Artist in the U.K.

In this piece the promises of Psalm 103 that are scrawled so desperately on the cracked surface of Gethsemane are written in silver script, radiating out of the inbreaking light. The darker-black words from Gethsemane are replaced with repetitions of ‘healing’ and ‘love’.

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