Do you find yourself producing more visuals than usual during Advent? Is your church producing slide presentations, bulletins, flyers advertising a Christmas program, and the like? Are you sending out Christmas cards and letters? Do you ever find yourself looking for unique Christmas images to include in all these documents and presentations?
You can do a Google image search and find some nice images, but it can be a lot of work separating the wheat from the chaff. When you do manage to find the perfect image, it is often too small and low-resolution to be usable.
For that reason, I have long relied on Accordance resources like Bible Art for high-quality Christmas images. If you were to look back at my family Christmas letters over the past several years, you would see them adorned with quite a few images from that one module. Last year we added the Christmas Classics module with some additional Christmas images. And of course, an image search of your entire Accordance library can turn up additional images in unexpected places.
One relatively new resource which I plan to mine for images in upcoming years is Historic Views of the Holy Land: The American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. This massive collection of photographs from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries offers views of Israel that you just don't see today, and many of those photographs actually reenact biblical scenes. For example, a simple search for Bethlehem turned up the following images reminiscent of the shepherds:
…and the magi:
…and the birth of Jesus:
How cool are those? There are many more images which illustrate the Christmas story, and countless others which illustrate other biblical narratives. It's really an incredible resource.
If you're looking for unique and high-quality images to adorn your various projects this Advent, you'll find Bible Art, Christmas Classics, and especially the Historic Views of the Holy Land collection extremely helpful.
Christmas is a season of story, song, artistry, and devotion. At its heart is the story of Jesus' birth, narrated in the Gospels and linked with a rich web of Old Testament prophecies and later New Testament reflections. Over the centuries, Christian preachers, poets, storytellers, and artists have reflected on the significance of the Christmas story in their own way, so that a rich body of Christmas literature and art now exists. We're excited to bring some of the best of that material together in a new Accordance module of Christmas Classics.
Christmas Classics begins with the Christmas story itself by providing Scripture readings for each day of Advent. These are followed by a selection of Christmas sermons by great preachers like Leo the Great, Martin Luther, George Whitefield, and Charles Spurgeon. Those who own John Piper's Sermon Manuscript Library can also follow links to his various Christmas sermons.
The next two sections include Christmas Carols and Christmas Poetry. The Carols section includes the lyrics to each carol along with a link to the iTunes store. Looking for just the right version of Silent Night to play this Christmas? Just click the link to sample recordings by Faith Hill, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, Ray Coniff, even Willie Nelson!
The next section of Christmas Classics is called "Stories and Legends." It includes richly illustrated versions of Clement Moore's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl, and O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi. You'll also find the famous newspaper column, "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus."
The final section of Christmas Classics contains images of the birth of Jesus by great artists like Rembrandt, Rubens, and Doré, along with an index to the illustrations from 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, A Christmas Carol, and The Gift of the Magi. If you're looking for the right image to include in a Keynote slide show or Christmas letter, Christmas Classics is a rich source to mine.
In addition to mining this module for images, you can also use Accordance's search capabilities to find quotations and excerpts with which to illustrate your own sermons and lessons. Search for a word or phrase like "peace on earth" or "Christ is born," and you may find a useful illustration from a lesser known verse of a carol or a bit of dialogue in the middle of a story.
This treasure trove of Christmas literature and art is on sale through December 24 for just ten dollars—a savings of 66% off the list price. Best of all, you can download and install Christmas Classics right away through Easy Install.