The Christian Mandala™ shown, Beloved Son, is a bit surreal. It is built out of basic Christian Symbols that have been used by the Church for 100’s of years.
The mandala visualizes Matthew 3:13-17, the baptism of Jesus. The baptism of Christ is a unique moment in time. When Jesus comes up out of the water, we have the presence of the Trinity. The Son in the Water, the Spirit descending like a dove, and the voice of the Father.
Jesus, of course, is shown in the water. The Spirit is depicted as a dove on the back of the scallop shell, and the Father is represented as the hand coming down from heaven holding the Scallop shell.
Three drops of water and a scallop shell is a common Christian symbol for baptism, especially for the baptism of Jesus.
An equilateral triangle within a circle is a widespread symbol for the Christian Trinity.
Finally, water is shown in three states, frozen, liquid, and cloud vapor.
We come to the most potent element of the Christian Mandalas Bible Study Curriculum, visualizing Scripture.
Dr. John Medina is a molecular biologist. In his book Brain Rules, he states: “If you think the brain has to devote to vision a lot of its precious thinking resources, you are right on the money. It takes up about half of everything you do in fact.” Page 231. That is impressive. A few pages later, John writes: “If information is presented orally, people remember about 10 percent, tested 72 hours after exposure. That figure goes up to 65 percent if you add a picture.” Page 234. That is an increase of 6.5 times by taken advantage of our eye’s ability to perceive.
We learn and remember best when pictures are used. Jesus used visual aids regularly. Here are a few examples:
- Told the disciple Thomas to look at His wounds
- Used a child as an illustration
- He washed the disciple’s feet as an object lesson
- Used a coin to illustrate a discussion on paying taxes to Caesar
- Wrote on the ground while questioning accusers
- The crucifixion itself is a very powerful reminder of the Day of Atonement
Effective teaching requires a visual component.
Visualization is why we created the Christian Mandala curriculum. Our study books are designed to help people read and reflect on Scripture while creating imagery. At an elementary level, you draw in a particular way as you read Scripture. You just need to draw at any level. If you can play Pictionary™, that is good enough. When you imagine a scene from the Bible and sketch it out, the passage comes alive.
Even if you’re only using stick figures, this practice will help immerse you into the text. In Bible studies we lead with the Christian Mandala curriculum, people of varying abilities draw while they read Scripture. Afterward, folks in the study group tell me that what they created stayed with them throughout the day. More importantly: The Scripture connected with their illustrations stays with them as well.
Adding a picture works.