Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 10 (art meditations + suggested resources for Advent)

"Advent is about learning to wait. It is about not having to know exactly what is coming tomorrow, only that whatever it is, it is of the essence of sanctification for us. Every piece of it, some hard, some uplifiting, is sign of the work of God alive in us. We are becoming as we go. We learn in Advent to stay in the present, knowing that only the present well lived can possibly lead us to the fullness of life." (Chittister)

During Advent I'll forego my weekly Buy More Art posts in order to share almost-daily meditations of Scripture, hymns, and art reflecting the alternate narrative and subversive time of waiting in hope for the Christ who came, the Christ who will come again and the Christ now among us.

Won't you join me?

Second Tuesday of Advent:

Isaiah 40

English Standard Version (ESV)
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
    that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord's hand
    double for all her sins.
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all flesh shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
A voice says, “Cry!”
    And I said,[c] “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
    and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
    when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
    surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
    but the word of our God will stand forever.
Go on up to a high mountain,
    O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
    O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
    lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
    “Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
    and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense before him.
11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
    he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
    and gently lead those that are with young.

A song of response: Glory Revealed, Candi Pearson Shelton 

Matthew 18:12-14

English Standard Version (ESV)
12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.14 So it is not the will of my[a] Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Shepherd with a Flock of Sheep - Vincent van Gogh

Shepherd With a Flock of Sheep
Van Gogh

I took a few moments to enjoy one of Austin's most-loved bookstores this evening (Book People).  Oh my, I could have stayed for hours.  A few beautiful books you may want to add to your Advent/Christmas collection.  By the way, even though I found them in the children's section, there's nothing childish about them! (*note: the fact that all the texts reference the King James version is only coincidence, not any sort of statement from this girl!)

Christmas is Here, Words from the King James Bible, Illustrations by Lauren Castillo

The Story of Christmas, From the King James Bible, Illustrations by Pamela Dalton

The Christmas Story (Metropolitan Museum of Art), from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke

A King James Christmas: Biblical Selections with Illustrations from Around the World, Edited by Catherine Schuon & Michael Fitzgerald

Now it's your turn!  What art are you enjoying this season? 
 Tell us about it in the  comments below.  
If you've written your own post, share the link.

"I keep expecting loud and impressive events to convince me and others of God's saving powers. Our temptation is to be distracted by them. When I have no eyes for the small signs of God's presence ... I will always remain tempted to despair." -- Henri Jozef Machiel NouwenGracias! A Latin American Journal (1983)  (via Diary of An Arts Pastor)

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