Visual Reflections on the Lectionary

Post Author: Sara Olson-Smith

Letting Go. 15th Sunday After Pentecost. Luke 14: 25-33.

The power and mercy of God’s hold gives us courage to let go of that which holds us captive.

My Grandmother’s Gardens. 19th Sunday After Pentecost. 2 Timothy 1:5

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you.”

The Persistent Widow. 21st Sunday After Pentecost. Luke 18:1-8

Perhaps God may be the persistent widow, persistent in seeking justice for all Her people, repeatedly coming to this world that doesn’t fear God or respect people, daily crying out for justice, making justice, bringing justice and not giving up on us and this world.

Sara Olson-Smith is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and serves a congregation in central New Jersey. Sara creates images inspired by the weekly lectionary texts to allow them to play in her imagination as she prepares for preaching. These and other images can be found here.

Image by: Sara Olson-Smith
Used with permission
6 replies
  1. Susan O
    Susan O says:

    I particularly love the picture “My Grandmother’s Gardens.” I’m fascinated by drawing as part of your sermon prep. Do you draw first, then write, or are they a side-by-side type of thing. Thanks for sharing these.

  2. sara
    sara says:

    In response to your question, Susan, my sermon writing process begins with these drawings. I spend some time reading the texts, and I try to memorize the Gospel for the week. And then I just let the initial reading inform the art. My goal is that these are my own initial responses, although sometimes I wait until later in the week, after conversations and other voices shape my reading. Part of how I am wired is to think in images, so this helps me get to the center of what I hear God saying to me and to my community. And then my sermon writing grows from the images, always the last piece of the puzzle for me.

  3. suzanne
    suzanne says:

    what an excellent visual reflection on the weekly texts. how long have you used this process? (and if you’re a visual thinker/learner–i’d venture to guess always)
    i also notice many are circular. i use mandalas in reflection of scripture and wonder if this is intentional for you.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *