"Redemption" - The Story of a Painting

The Beginning of this Painting

Every year in the week before Easter some churches in Houston sponsor an open art exhibit with a theme from the life of Christ. In 2015 the theme was “Redemption.” I spent a long time trying to come up with an image that fit the theme.

One day at the altar rail at St. Thomas Episcopal Church during the Eucharist, Rev. Rhoda Montgomery put the bread/wafer representing the body of Jesus in my hand and I saw the image I as looking for.

Redemption is the hand of God (that day represented by Rhoda’s hand) offering us the body and work and love of Jesus (represented by the circular “host” used at St. Thomas) Through the power and work of the Holy Spirit (the shape that hovers between God and humankind.)

We have to open our hands to receive but the act of Redemption has been completed by the work of God and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and is sustained in us by the Spirit.

Some trinitarian prayers identify the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as:

Creator - REDEEMER - Sustainer.

The Rest of the Story

I took the painting to Houston before I showed it to Rhoda but I showed her a photo of it. She loved it. I promised to show it to her when I got it back from the exhibit.

On a visit to Rhoda and Rob’s home after she came on the service of Hospice Brazos Valley where I am a chaplain, I took the painting with me. She was very tired that day but I offered to leave it and told her I planned to give it to the church later. For the last couple of weeks of her life the painting was propped on the bookcase at the foot of the bed.

In Rhoda’s memory I offered this painting to St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

Cherry Winkle Moore Artist-In-Residence January 29, 2016

Image of Cherry Winkle Moore
Cherry Winkle Moore

Cherry Winkle Moore is a visual artist and a retired hospice chaplain. Cherry has a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting, drawing and printmaking from the University of Alabama. Later she completed a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in pastoral care. Cherry sometimes says that in her case the MFA stands for Minister of Fine Arts and the MDiv stands for Making Divine Images Visible.

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