Honor the Lord with your wealth,–Proverbs 3:9
And with the first fruits of all your increase.
From the beginning of the Old Testament to the end of the New, returning to our Creator the first fruits of what has already been given us—in talent, labor, and wealth—stands as a hallmark of God’s faithful people. The entire biblical narrative is filled with images of feasting, fruitfulness, and faithful service in which both God’s people and kingdom flourish. Joyfully and creatively engaging in the good work that God has given us to do, yielding our best efforts to the Lord, we return our first offering to him.
First Fruits Image Gallery
Click to view the full image
CIVA thanks Joel Sheesley for serving as the juror for this exhibition, a daunting task given the unusually large number of submissions. Sheesley is a painter and Emeritus Professor of art at Wheaton College. He currently works with The Conservation Foundation in northeastern Illinois, painting the Fox River Valley landscape, where he contributes a valuable aesthetic dimension to the foundation’s overall concern for environmental education. Joel’s paintings have been exhibited widely and upcoming shows for 2016-2017 include the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, Michigan; the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, Indiana; and the Walford Galleries at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.