Design Notes: Philippians 3:20

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Our citizenship is in heaven
Philippians 3:20

Thoughts on the verse

In Chapter 3 (link to New Living Translation, which I favor for readability) of his letter to the believers in Philippi, Paul is explaining what things in life truly have value and how we Christians should be living.

Verses 17-21 reads as follows (New International Version, which I used for this art and read most often in my high school & college years):
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

So the phrase "our citizenship is in heaven" reminds me of a couple of important things:

  1. Our earth is broken. As a people, we too are broken.
    We are sinful and often have selfish priorities. We get distracted by "earthly things."
  2. We belong with Jesus
    As believers, our true home, which we "eagerly await" is in the presence of Jesus and in relationship with Him.
  3. We have hope
    We know who has power and we know how the story ends. Jesus will "bring everything under his control." Having this confidence changes the way we live alongside and among brokenness.

I would love to hear what this verse means to you. Please share in the comments!

Thoughts on the design

Based on the few times the Bible mentions heaven we hear of Jesus rising "up" into it or of Him coming down to us. So it was natural to create a visual of our planet with the text floating above. The watercolor texture abstractly reminds me of the swirling clouds we've seen in photographs of our planet. Placing the shining star shape behind the text creates a subtle visual connection to the planet shape.

Thoughts on type

I chose to set the type in Beloved Sans, which has a very light and airy feel which is appropriate for this text and its placement in the sky.

Thoughts on color

I created the original artwork as part of my 2019 Lent series. I did the entire series in shades of purple so the first version was lavender. My next step was to pull from the darkest shade of the planet artwork and see if purple would work. It actually offers better contrast for the text. The teal arrived from me experimenting with finding a blue or green (you know, like planet earth) that worked well. I feel the pink and coral reminds me a bit of Mars but that feels ok to me -- God created the entire universe and everything in it. Also, I am just crushing on coral right now!

Available as both instant digital download and canvas!

View the complete Philippians 3:20 collection in my Etsy shop.

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