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This impressive series from artist Nicora Gangi stems from her contemplation on the first book of Haggai and her ensuing reflection on the passage's implication for her own life.

Haggai 1

Paneled and Ruins Series

By 

Nicora Gangi

Credits: 

Curated by: 

Jonathon Roberts

2018

Collage

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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Haggai was a messenger chosen by God after a long period in Israel's history when there had been no clear communication from the Divine.


At the end of Israel's exile in Babylon, they were instructed by God to return to Israel and rebuild His temple. No sooner had the people of God had come up out of captivity in Babylon and returned to Israel than they set up an altar for sacrifice. The foundation of the temple was laid within a year, but shortly thereafter building ceased entirely. They put that expensive piece of work off, no longer interested in the needs of their spiritual life—God’s temple and presence among them. They wanted to spend what time and money they had on their own pleasures, to provide for their families and fill their own houses with all kinds of earthly finery. God was displeased with this and therefore rebuked them: "You dwell in your fancy paneled houses but my house lies desolate" (Haggai 1:4). Provoked by their lack of commitment, He scattered the heaping of their wealth with the breath of His mouth.


Though they had foolishly neglected the building of the house of God, He promised to not remember their former ways, knowing that He would be honored by them in His temple. "I will be glorified, says the Lord" (Haggai 1:8). When the temple is built, God will be served, worshipped and sanctified by those who come near to Him.


This made clear to me how worthwhile it is to invest our care, pain, and resources in those tasks by which God may be glorified.


I believe that if the work we have to do for God and our own souls is left undone—if we seek our own desires more than the will of Jesus Christ—God will cross us in our temporal affairs and we will be met with trouble and disappointment. However, if we follow Him and seek His kingdom we will be blessed with all necessary things and more in abundance to complete that to which we are called (Matthew 6:33).



Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Nicora Gangi was educated at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA (BFA 1974 and MFA 1976). She was a Professor of Art at Syracuse University for 29 years. Gangi has been awarded many Grand Prize and First Place awards and grants. She has been and continues to be published in numerous artist’s books on pastel paintings. She has lectured regionally and nationally as a visiting artist at universities and artist’s guilds. She is represented by: Edgewood Gallery (Syracuse, NY), and Gangi Studio (Winter Garden, FL).