Reflections for

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec 18, 2016

Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25

On Art

Joseph and Mary: Wedding Portrait, by Jim Larson

During Advent and Christmas, Christians hear stories of prophets, shepherds, night skies, angel announcements, a star, traveling Magi, and wanderers. An exploration of past and future, of expected and curious symbols, and of mystery—these also are central in the work of Jim Larson. A traditional woodworker and liturgical artist at House of Mercy, a church in St. Paul, Minnesota, Larson merges Western art, biblical and historical narratives, and traditional and nontraditional symbolism. This oil-on-canvas diptych, Joseph and Mary: Wedding Portrait (working title), is part of a series based on Jean-François Millet’s and Vincent van Gogh’s The Sower, where the sower is transformed into Mary with the Christ-child, and the Passion is attested to by raven, goldfinch, and skull. “The narratives might remain elusive,” Larson writes. “But that’s OK; the stories they grow out of are pretty strange to begin with.”


Lord and God

Bart Ehrman's How Jesus Became God

Bart Ehrman's conclusions aren't novel to anyone familiar with historical scholarship on Christology. But those aren't the readers he has in mind.


Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.