Devotion Based on The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer

Everyone loves rainbows, and in The Milkmaid painting we can find all the colors of the rainbow. Did you know that when there’s a lighter second rainbow above the first, the colors are opposite the first rainbow?

But without light we couldn’t see rainbows or any of the colors. How wonderful that God created light on the very first day!

Darken a room as much as you can and read Genesis :1-2. Encourage children to notice they can’t see color very well, if at all, when it’s dark.

Turn on the lights as you read Genesis 1:3 when on the very first day of creation God said, “Let there be light.” And notice how the colors spring to life.

With God’s words, our world went from the darkness of verse 2 to a world He would fill with colorful skies and plants and creatures!

Try one of the following activities to help children appreciate the colorful world God created:

  • Write colors on slips of paper and have children draw one. They then name something natural of that color. For example, if the paper says pink, they might say a rose. For orange they might think of sunsets. Challenge children to be creative and think of the orange eyes of an lemur, or stripes on a tiger.
  • Have each child make a color wheel on a paper plate with the 3 primaries and 3 secondaries painted in pie-shaped wedges, (they could use markers or crayons instead of paint). Then send them on a scavenger hunt around your house and yard to find things of each color.

Rainbows appear after storms when sunlight shines through water droplets. The light slows down a little and gets bent or refracted, so it separates into the colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. (ROYGBIV) (In a color wheel for art we leave out indigo)

We can be so thankful that God created light and made the world such a colorful place for us to live. But the rainbow shows God’s love for us in another super important way.

Together read about Noah and the ark in Genesis 6-9:17. (depending on the age of your children, use a children’s Bible or read selected passages)

Imagine what it was like when the ark came to rest after the flood, and Noah led his family and all the animals out. Do you think they just walked?

I think the kangaroos bounced down the ramp, and parrots flapped away to find trees. Striped zebras kicked up their hoofs when they felt dry ground, and giraffes stretched their long necks to reach their favorite leaves. What do you think other animals would do first? What would you have done?

Then Noah built an altar to thank God for saving him and all those amazing creatures. AND what did God do? He put a rainbow in the sky as a sign and promise to us that He would never again destroy the world by a flood.

Instead He would rescue it and us through the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, through whom all the fullness of God shines (Colossians 1:19-20 and 2:9), showing us a heavenly rainbow of the Father’s love, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.

Prayer: Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the light that makes the world so colorful. Help us remember when we see a rainbow to thank you for Jesus who came to this earth to rescue us and give us a brand new life in Him. In His name, we pray. Amen.

Before You Go

If you’d like more activity ideas for art, history, and nature, curriculum connections, and links to more resources, be sure to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free guide to 5 Ways Art Benefits Children’s Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual, and Social Development, with a Few Fun and Easy Activities for each Benefit

Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages and coloring pages for kids and an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages. Add link

Molly loves how the light makes her coat look shiny in this picture! She and I hope you enjoyed this devotion based on The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer. Next week we’ll have an art activity based on the painting.




14 thoughts on “Devotion Based on The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer

  1. JD Wininger

    Thank you for “being light” Ms Kathy. I so enjoy how you engage all of the children’s senses in your projects and devotions. What a wonderful blessing it is to share your ultra-creative and fun ways to share lessons of Christ through art. God’s blessings ma’am.


    1. Kathy The Picture Lady Post author

      I never noticed it either, and we get lots of rainbows around here because of so many afternoon showers in spring and early summer. I love learning new wonders about creation, and I’ve learned so much of those wonders from your posts! Thank you, my friend.


  2. Becky Van Vleet

    Thank you, Kathy, for these great ideas for children. I can’t wait to try some of these things with my grandkiddos. To be honest, I never realized the colors in the secondary rainbows were opposite of the primary rainbow. I’m going to look at this next time God blesses me with a rainbow!


  3. Katherine Pasour

    As spring approaches and our days are longer, I’m grateful for the “light.” Of course, Jesus is our Light, but I love the longer days and the response the earth makes in sprouting forth grass, leafy trees, and a multitude of flowers. I enjoyed your post, especially the emphasis on rainbows, one of my favorites of nature’s beauty. And I love the promise they represent and the reflection of God’s love for us.


    1. Kathy The Picture Lady Post author

      I really appreciate when days get longer, too. I appreciate your thoughts on how it warms the earth so plants and flowers begin to sprout, and the promise the rainbow brings us of God’s love. Do your horses have spring fever yet? May you have blessed week, my friend!


    1. Kathy The Picture Lady Post author

      Thank you, so much, Jeannie! Your kind words mean a lot, because sometimes I have trouble figuring out how to put things in a way that’s helpful for adults to use with children! As a teacher, I know you understand that challenge!



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