The Maranatha Icon was created to inspire the baptized to unity. We are one Body in Christ, God’s incarnate Son, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. No matter the denomination, we are all called to offer the Gospel to the lost sheep and people of good will seeking the Truth, Beauty and Goodness of the Kingdom of God.
The love Jesus commands us to give one another is one of our greatest weapons against the kingdom of this world and the Enemy. We are a strong Body with many high functioning parts. When we branched off into separate churches we developed different strengths and perspectives.
Beloved brothers and sisters, we need to get real. Instead of fussing around about our differences we need to examine our strengths and share our resources. We need to acknowledge the abundant variety of our spiritual and temporal gifts to fight for our children, churches and communities.
We are called into mutually supportive action NOW. Where disunity had been a weakness, God is making into might. For the Kingdom, the power and the glory is both now and forever. Amen.
In this age of images, The Maranatha Icon offers a simple means to encourage Christian unity.
Inspired by a vision, the artist asked a small group of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox believers to pray during the painting of the icon. Our common Baptism, the belief in the doctrine of the Trinity, and the statements of faith set forth by the early Church fathers in the Apostles and Nicene Creeds provided a solid bedrock from which to pray as one Body. We held in absolute unity these foundational doctrines.
What is The Maranatha Icon saying to Christians today? What do the symbols mean?
Jesus Christ Enthroned is shown seated at the right Hand of the Father, surrounded by seraphim-the order of angels whose sole function is to reflect the love and glory of God (Isaiah 6.2). The color blue surrounds four seraphs, symbolizing both heaven and the waters of Baptism.
The blessing hand of Christ held with the two lower fingers near the thumb is a symbol of the Trinity. The two extended upper fingers depicts the two natures of Christ: Divine and human.
The form of the icon itself represents the gift of Eastern Orthodox believers to the Church of Byzantine iconography, ‘the Gospels in paint.’ The letters within the halo of Christ is only present on icons of the Lord Jesus, means “I AM who I AM.” (Exodus 3.14)
The letters of the Alpha and Omega on a simple Gospel cover symbolizes the devotion to the Word of God of our Protestant brothers and sisters. (Revelation 1.8, 22.13)
The sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman as a typography of Christ and His Bride and upheld by the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church is imaged by Christ robed in garments of white, the attire of a Bridegroom (Ephesians 5.31,32) and Priest (Revelation 1.13).
The Armenian Khatchkar Cross of Echmiadzin on the Gospel cover represents the persecuted Body of Christ. It represents our Oriental Orthodox brethren, honoring the memory of the Armenian faithful killed in the genocide of 1915 and the 21 Coptic brothers martyred in Libya in 2015. May their memories be eternal, Amen.
Christ WILL come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, He will come again for His Bride prepared. Through prayer, the Sacraments, the arts, through any and all inspired and holy ways possible, let’s help each other get ready. Pray for purity, repentance, and the restoration of unity among faithful Christians.
As one Body, let us pray that we will be inspired to obey the words of our Savior in John 15.17:
“This I command you: love one another.”
Maranatha-Come, Lord Jesus!
“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” John 17.20-24
Please share the image as shown on the website with your brothers and sisters in Christ through your social media channels. All copies online have been watermarked ‘TheMaranathaIcon.org’ to bring people to the story of hope behind the icon and it’s mission.
As the image is original, it is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced or copied without the permission of the artist. Printed copies without the watermark will be available in the near future with proceeds to benefit ministries of the Church. The artist can be contacted directly at artheartslc(at)gmail.com.