We don’t usually think of Ellen White as an artist, yet in the midst of her career, in 1883, she commissioned a work of art entitled “Christ the Way of Life.”
The print emphasizes the central place of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross in the doctrine of salvation by faith. The story of salvation is laid out as a circular sequence of events starting with disaster in the Garden of Eden and leading to the New Creation. Each year, as part of the lead-up to Creation Sabbath, a new work of art is produced, and the 2023 Creation Sabbath art is inspired by this same salvation theme.
Creation Sabbath is a yearly event and an official observance voted by the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It falls on the fourth Sabbath of October, occurring this year on October 28, 2023.
In the past, this global celebration has been observed in thousands of Adventist churches, schools, other institutions, and homes around the world. It is open to everyone interested in worshiping the Creator and presents a special opportunity to preach the first angel’s message found in Revelation 14:6, 7 to the communities we serve.
The 2023 Creation Sabbath artwork, created by well-known Bible prophecy illustrator Steve Creitz, picks up on some of the same elements as Ellen White’s 1883 illustration, but it emphasizes the present, where the viewer stands in a beautiful but broken world. From this perspective, where we all find ourselves today, the Sabbath liberates us to see, through faith, the new creation for which we long. Being freed from the fetters of sin through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit, we see the sea of glass and New Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit is symbolized by oil in the lampstand, and the light it sheds symbolizes God’s omnipresence as well as Jesus as the light of the world.
Instead of using a circular sequence as a timeline for history, the new artwork includes the circular Creation Sabbath logo as a symbol of the Sabbath, when we — by faith — see the new creation. Inscribed on this portal is the Latin phrase “Credo ut intelligam” which comes from the writings of Anselm of Canterbury, who pointed out that it is through faith that we understand, not the other way around.
Anyone can use the 2023 Creation Sabbath art to share the good news that Jesus is coming, that His grace is sufficient to save all humanity, and that His judgment means a new creation unmarred by death and suffering. Resources are available here at the Creation Sabbath site. This includes files for printing posters, bulletins, and bulletin inserts, all of which are free. T-shirts and other Creation Sabbath merchandise are available for purchase, which supports the Creation Sabbath mission to spread the everlasting gospel of Revelation 14:6, 7 with the world.
“As someone who has dedicated their life to helping others understand the biblical prophecies, I’m excited to be involved with Creation Sabbath,” Steve Creitz said. “While prophecy gives us an informed understanding of history and our place in it, with all the change that occurs over time, there is a constant, the Sabbath, which God established at the creation and celebrates with the saints in the prophesied new creation. As a creative, I can’t wait to meet the Creator of all things!”
Alberto Timm, of the General Conference Biblical Research Institute, expressed satisfaction in “seeing the work of Ellen White inspiring new and innovative approaches to sharing the central message of her ministry, that God is love.”
We at the Geoscience Research Institute believe this is the message we all have to share with the world, namely, that God loved us so much that He made us; God loves us so much that He has saved us; God loves us so much that He is creating a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1), with no more death and no more tears (Revelation 21:4), a place where we can dwell with Him for eternity.