John DeFrancesco, the artist of this issue’s cover, says, “As a painter, I have succeeded if I have completed a work through which someone may sense the fragrances, feel the warmth of the sun, hear the sounds of creatures or the rush of the water, and watch the colors reflecting one upon another in a dancing symphony of delight.”* Indeed, in his painting “Tree of Life,” DeFrancesco has done exactly that. The shifting greens and browns of a tree in full foliage evoke the warm wind of a summer day and bring to life the sunbeams that highlight an almost human figure with arms outstretched. This image of Christ crucified reminds us that the abundant life God offers is made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ, death no longer has the final word.
DeFrancesco’s work not only offers assurance of eternal life through Christ but also reminds us that Christ’s love “gives us hope for a better life right now for those in need.”** We are called to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world, to share the good news and care for those in need. By distributing prints of this painting along with text that shares Christ’s love, DeFrancesco has offered the hope of new life in Christ to people in prison and people experiencing homelessness. How will you offer hope to others in the coming weeks?
Cover image courtesy of John DeFrancesco ©2018 John DeFrancesco. Prints of cover art are available from firstname.lastname@example.org.