Saturday, 29 August 2009
Monday, 24 August 2009
The crucified Christ raises his hands triumphantly at his victory over the forces of evil
He has successfully completed the task given him by his heavenly Father.
The couple raises their hands as they welcome the salvation Christ has won for us on the cross.
The large hands represent the Father, drawing his Son and us upwards to enter his glory
In this picture there's a repeated "Y" formation. This signifies:
The Father's "Yes" to our salvation.
The Son's "Yes" to his Father's will.
Our "Yes" to the salvation the crucified Christ has won for us.
I've deliberately emphasised the Exaltation of Crucified Christ, rather than that of the cross on which he was crucified.
Next week's final picture and comment on the Ascension will provide the climax to this series.
Thursday, 20 August 2009
But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us."
The hands in this picture form a "Y"
The "Y" formation is repeated in the crucified Christ's body,
with its raised arms, as he says, "AMEN," "YES"
in obedience to his Father's will.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most High will oversahdow you; therefore the child to born of you will be called holy; the Son of God...And Mary said, 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word'"
Lk. 1. 34-37
This picture shows Mary's will in complete harmony with God's
Her whole body, with its extended arms, parallels Yahweh's 'Y' -his 'YES' as she agrees to cooperate with his plan for our salvation.
Her 'YES' to God reverses our rebellious 'NO'
Her docility to God's will is the model for redeemed humanity
This picture is Trinitarian
The Father, who sent his Son into the world, is represented by Yahweh's hands
The dove represents the Holy Spirit, through whom Mary conceived our saviour.
As Mary reaches to welcome the Spirit the Son joins the human race.
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us, full of grace and truth."
Jn. 1. 14
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might receive adoption as children."
Gal. 4. 4-5
Next week's picture and reflection will be about the crucified Christ's "YES" to his Father's will.
Friday, 7 August 2009
In the Biblical account of the Fall Adam and Eve sought to be equal to God and independent of him. In spite of his warnings they thought they had nothing to lose by disobeying him. Pride in thinking we know better than God lies at the heart of all sin.
Sadly, we discover that our rebellion brings discord into our relationship with God, with each others and even with the environment. That was the experience of Adam and Eve, who, instead of walking with God in the cool of the evening were no longer able to face him or even themselves in their naked humanity. They quarrelled with each other. The very environment, which God had entrusted to their care became arduous and hostile. Far from gaining through sinning they had forfeited what was most precious to them -being at peace in a loving relationship with God.
In the subsequent chapters of Genesis and the rest of the Bible we see the ripple effect of evil spreading throughout the world. We are only too aware of that in our own lives and in the world in which we live. Our behaviour affects other people, for better or for worse. We use each other to our own advantage, forgetting that they are our brothers and sisters, with the same dignity and rights as we claim for ourselves.
But instead of writing us off as worthless, God sets about repairing the damage our sins have caused.
This is suggested by his opens hands in the present picture, and will be developed in the subsequent illustrations. They form a brief approach to some aspects of salvation history.
While the man in the picture shakes his hand defiantly at God, the woman gives Yahweh the contemptuous 'V' sign. Both of them are starting to turn away from him.
There's a sadness in Yahweh's open, empty hands, as the couple turn their backs on him and he pleads for them -for us -to return to him.
But, even though sinful man may reject Yahweh's loving hands, they always remain open, ever eager to welcome back the repentant sinner. God's love for us, is of its very nature steadfast, not fickle or brittle. That means that he owes it to himself to be merciful in welcoming the repentant sinner back, if that's what he or she really wants.
"If we are faithless, he remains faithful -for he cannot deny himself"
2 Tim. 2. 13
Next we will see how God begins to repair the damage caused by sin