Fourth Sunday of Advent

Angel Land by Jake Van Wyk, lithograph from stone, 16 x 6 inches, 2001

December 19, 2021 Lectionary Texts — Year C
Micah 5:2-5a
Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-55


This week I am sharing one of my latest art acquisitions… an original lithograph purchased from my college professor who I visited recently in his new studio space. Jake beautifully set the print in this 1913 gold antique frame which I feel enhances the piece both visually and thematically.*

Jake has long been exploring themes that run parallel to my own work. In this case, the subject is angelic presence. It is depicted here as a large eye set in a landscape. It is an image that can be disturbing at first glance. Remember friends, not all art will give you warm, comfortable or inviting feelings. If you can be open to this, willing to accept and dig into what those uncomfortable feelings are about, you allow the work of art to take you deeper. Going deeper can lead to conversation or communion with the Divine.

I have chosen this piece for its alignment with an overarching theme present in the lectionary texts. This theme is one Mary gives praise and the Psalmist calls out for… being seen. In my own personal experience, one of God’s most comforting messages to me during low points is… I see you. The mighty angelic presence of the spiritual realm enfolding and surrounding our realities is one of the ways God sees.

God saw Israel and her land.

God saw Mary and her people.

God sees Christ and his sacrifice.

Everywhere the Eye of the Divine.

For you to ponder…

What is your initial reaction to Angel Land?
What do you see?
What are you being invited to contemplate and explore?
What questions do you have?

Mary: My soul lifts up the Lord! My spirit celebrates God, my Liberator! For though I’m God’s humble servant, God has noticed me. Now and forever, I will be considered blessed by all generations. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; holy is God’s name! From generation to generation, God’s lovingkindness endures for those who revere Him.

LUKE 1:46-50

*A word on behalf of artists like Jake and myself… It is critical to support artists and find ways to encourage the work they do. It is also important that what hangs on the walls of our homes be personally meaningful. I would encourage you to stop and take note of your own thoughts, approaches, tendencies around art, artists and your spaces. Resist the consumer driven urge to fill your walls with “decor” pieces. I realize that purchasing or commissioning original art is often considerably more expensive and can be time consuming to seek out. It is nowhere near the much lower cost and ease of purchasing something that was manufactured and sold in a store. Make a budget, set moneys aside, save up and purchase something you will treasure daily. Social media makes it easier than ever before to find art and contact artists – many of us are out there daily on the virtual street corners sharing our work. The time to overturn the present cultural devaluation of art and artists is now, friends. And as always, much much gratitude to those of you who walk with us and support us.

Jake Van Wyk’s website

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