Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day 15 (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 Saturday of Advent:

Russian Icon. The Prophet Elijah and the Fiery Chariot.
The Prophet Elijah and the Fiery Chariot
Russian icon, unknown artist
14th century

[from Sirach, one of the Hebrew historical books written during the 400 years of silence between Old and New Testaments]
 Then there arose the fiery prophet Elijah, whose words blazed like a torch. He brought a famine on the people, and many of them died because of his persistence. Speaking in the name of the Lord, he kept the rain from coming, and on three occasions he called down fire.
You were taken up to heaven in a fiery whirlwind, a chariot drawn by fiery horses. The scripture says that you are ready to appear at the designated time, to cool God's anger before it breaks out in fury; that you will bring parents and children together again, and restore the tribes of Israel. Fortunate are those who live to see you come, as well as those who have already died in love, for we too shall live.
Matthew 17:10-13
English Standard Version (ESV)
10 And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 11 He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. 12 But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

The Transfiguration
The Transfiguration
Titian, 1560-65

Song of response: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Suggested Resources for Advent:

Three favorite recently-produced albums by church worship teams for Advent - 

A Child Is Born cover art  A Child is Born by Sojourn Music (Louisville, KY)

Christmas cover art Christmas by Castle Island Hymns (Boston, MA)

The Mystery of Godliness cover art The Mystery of Godliness by CTK Music (Raleigh, NC)

Interested in why our family values the season of Advent?  Read our post: Family liturgies for Advent and a confession from an exhausted Dad at Christmas

"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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