Good morning! Happy birthday to Jim Fellers! Hooray!
Today’s Readings: Psalm 18:1-20, Isaiah 2:5-22, 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13, Luke 20:27-40
My friend and colleague Karen Shimer got me to thinkin the other day. She gave a great and thoughtful meditation on perspective in our colloquy. Karen is the pastor in Canby and is a God-filled type of person. Anyway, she presented these two images :
Both of them are representations of the Madonna and Child. The first one is from the Renaissance period and then second is an Orthodox icon. Karen went on to point out that the Renaissance painting is focused on capturing the realism. The vanishing points are directly in front of us and so we focus on the scene before us but that is where it stops. On the other hand, the Orthodox icon has many vanishing points and invites us into the image. Once we are in we feel as though we go further. The background is bright because of the light of Christ. If feet are shown they are not to touch the ground because we are to leave earthly things behind. The sensory parts of the image, eyes, nose, ears are larger in proportion because it allows us to be aware of God. The hands are larger because we are doing the work of God.
Two different perspectives that highlight the same thing. Perhaps Advent is about perspective as well. When I read Isaiah this morning I noticed the passages about light. For Isaiah light has many connotations and and perspectives. Light is about joy and love. Light represents justice. Light is about redemption but even more so light is about freedom. When the Israelites are set free from Egypt they gain light to see their path. Others then live in darkness and cannot see. Light becomes revelation and truth instead of the plague of darkness.
But here is the other perspective…what if we recognized the darkness as well. At the Cooperative Ministries this month we are actually focusing in on the darkness because it is there friends in abundance during the season. And when our eyes adjust, clarity gives us a different perspective. We may also appreciate a bit of light much more. In worship team this week, we talked about a Sunday coming up and a discussion about the light of stars came up. I won’t give too much away but basically, we meditated on when in true darkness the world tends to look a little more light in places. Maybe that light brings revelation, truth, justice and love. Maybe the light in the midst of our darkest times allows us to see the path.
Here is one more image for perspective….there are many more out there. Our world transforms with more perspective. Enjoy.
O God of many facets, allow us to see your bits of light during this season of darkness. Even in the truest darkness, may we see your clarity and brightness all around us. Remind us that your presence alone should transform the way we see the world. Amen.