Second Sunday of Advent

Divine Blessing by Michelle L Hofer – mixed media painting, 2018

December 5, 2021 Lectionary Texts — Year C
Baruch 5:1-9 or Malachi 3:1-4
Luke 1:68-79
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

Text Link

This painting features the hand of God. Commonly found in early Christian and Byzantine icon imagery, this gesture carries the special meaning of sovereignty and blessing. The scribbled texture in the background of this piece was created by scraping and jabbing a brush handle in the wet paint. The dot pattern forming the hand is inspired by a technique used in Celtic Christian Scripture illumination where the space between forms or letters is filled with tiny red dots — a visual to indicate the living Word.

Questions to help you explore this artwork with the texts:

How is Malachi’s image of God as Refiner reflected in this piece?
What characteristic of God do you most sense in this image?
How is this image a symbol for the the message John proclaims in the wilderness?

If you are overwhelmed trying to connect this image with the questions, break it down by looking at just colors, textures, what is ordered vs. disordered, movement or the energy/feeling in the art.

Feel free to share answers here in the comments. Also, remember, if you have a question, please ask, there are no dumb questions when we are exploring art! I am here to help you and guide you. Like anything, this kind of exploration becomes easier the more you engage and practice.

As Isaiah the prophet had said, a solitary voice is calling: “Go into the wilderness; prepare the road for the Eternal One’s journey. In the desert, repair and straighten every mile of our True God’s highway. Every low place will be lifted and every high mountain, every hill will be humbled; The crooked road will be straightened out and rough places ironed out smooth; Then the radiant glory of the Eternal One will be revealed. All flesh together will take it in.”

LUKE 3:4-6

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