What bodies of Christian art reflect for you the sacrifice of Christ, the gift of Christ, the blessing of faith?
What is the first piece of Christian art retained in your memory bank?
For myself, it is the iconic face of Christ at the front of the church where I received my Christian formation-from baptism through to confirmation, and then, leaving home to pursue a career in local government administration.
Twenty plus years later, I returned to that setting for a Community Reunion.
I was honored to lead the worship service on that occasion. The question preceding the event was: I wonder if the church will look the way I remembered it, and will the picture of Christ have been retained in its iconic setting? The answer: yes! One major observation was the worship space was much smaller than I had remembered from my childhood years.
When a child, small spaces appear quite large.
Over the years, additional iconic pieces of Christian art have influenced my life.
The first to come to my mind would be “The Last Supper.” During COVID, I completed a needle craft art of this iconic moment in our faith journey-participation in sharing the sacrament of Holy Communion.
In three of the parishes I have served, there has been “The Light of the World,” by William Holman Hunt.
It is said that during the Renaissance, millions of people flocked to observe what was, at the time, referenced as a ‘Sermon in a Frame.’
We all know it depicts Christ: standing, knocking at a door with no handle on the outside. Jesus is carrying a lantern (the Light of the World). The door is overgrown with weeds and appears to be rusted with lack of use.
The biblical reference for this picture is Revelation 3:20:
“I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.”
The message: it is up to the person on the other side of the door to let Jesus in.
There are many other pictures which come to mind.
You are invited, this week, to reflect on the Christian story from a religious art which has touched your heart; or keeping in mind, the work of William Holman Hunt. What has prompted you to unlatch your inner spirit to let the “light of the world” to enter in?
One last picture for myself is our Church’s central stained-glass window depicting an iconic work illustrating Jesus with the children. This is a stock picture from McCausland’s of Toronto.
This window, being at the center of our sanctuary, reminds us of our calling to ministry beginning with our children.
Blessings for this week.