Bible pictures about Pentecost all have the same oversight in common: Invariably the pictures show flames on male heads and men
preaching the gospel. But Pentecost is the story of God’s spirit falling on manservants and maidservants, of sons and daughters prophesying. (See Acts 2:16-18)
The pictures are so male, because it is the reality of how the church at large thinks. It is male because the mere thought that women and even children could have the same spirit empowering them in the same way is not the first thing the artist think of.
In my vision, the church will look very much like and very much unlike these pictures: Women will be as much encouraged to speak as men, and lay people as much as clergy. Children usually won’t not have the benefit of knowledge and experience adults have and (like anyone else) cannot be teachers without being taught – but they will also have that same Spirit enabling them to speak – and in the power of that Spirit they will participate too.
A change in the church will be seen in many things, but it will be reflected in new Sunday School pictures to tell children about Pentecost too. One day when the church functions better, these pictures would show men and women and children gathered to pray and talk about Jesus, men and women and children with flames on their heads, and men and women and children speaking after receiving the Holy Spirit.
This will not happen only when the artist have been alerted to be age-inclusive and gender-inclusive beforehand. It will happen automatically – the artist, like everyone else, will see this kind of thing at church meetings, and know that a church empowered by the Spirit has participating men and women and even children. After all, God calls everyone to bring their teachings and prophesies and songs and interpretations to church, and wants all these gifts to build up. (1 Cor. 14:26)
And that gives me an idea for an egalitarian logo: A man and woman on the same height (it could be only the heads too, as long as one is visibly male and the other female), with flames on both heads and both mouths opened equally wide. This spirit gifts everyone equally, regardless of gender, and all gifts (regardless of gender) should equally be used to build up.
The site from which this set of pictures come includes women in two of the set of 12 pictures – there are women among the gathered believers before the Spirit is poured out, and a token female among the believers being baptised by men. That still does not amount to anything like real representation of women’s actual full participation in church.
However, I do not want to pick on that site, as it is otherwise a good resource, and the male-centred pictures does not make them any worse than the rest of the church.