Occasionally I pray with Icons. I think of them as reminders of God, rather than representations of God.

I find some of the modern Icons from Turvey Abbey, in Bedfordshire, UK, excellent to pray through.

I haven't painted any Icons myself, but here is a picture I took (and touched up slightly to remove some artefacts) that I find good for meditation upon the Theophany of the Burning Bush; look into the light, and think upon, and feel, the Light of God's Love, Justice, and Mercy, burning away our hatred, unfairness, and resentment. You could use it with any other passage concerning Divine Light, such as the Transfiguration, the Pillar of Fire by night, the Angel appearing to the shepherds, the Consecration of the Temple.

[Sunrise over trees]
The burning bush

The angel of the Lord appeared under him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face: for he was afraid to look upon God.

And Moses said unto God, behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers have sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I am that I am. And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you.From Exodus 3

The transfiguration

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart. And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said under Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While yet he spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and was sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. From Matthew 17

The picture on this page links to a larger version; you are welcome to save either of them for your own use.

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John C. G. Sturdy

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