Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Peaceable Kingdom

Our texts for this second Sunday in the season of Advent--our season of Holy Pause--are Isaiah 11:1-10 and Matthew 3:1-12, which you can read here:

At our first Tuesday night "Holy Pause" gathering this week, a variety of reflection stations were set up around the worship space to allow people to practice pausing and opening themselves to God's holy presence in different ways. One of the stations was entitled "Looking," and at it was an art print of the above painting by John August Swanson, "Peaceable Kingdom."

The instructions on the station read, "Read Isaiah 11:6-9, then spend some time looking at John August Swanson’s painting entitled “Peaceable Kingdom.” Consider these questions:
         How do the image’s colors and lines illuminate the scripture’s meaning?
         Where do you see God in this image?
         Had you been the artist, how might you have illustrated this passage?

Here were some things that occured to me as I meditated on this image:
         I wonder why the scene was set at night time? 
         Why are there pairs of some animals, and only a single one of others?
         With peace, I often think in pastel colors...I love how rich and full these colors are. This scene is not is VIBRANT.

What captures you in this art image? What captures you in the images painted by the author of Isaiah? What might this vision really look like lived out?

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