Saturday, December 1, 2012


  The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Jeremiah 33:14-16
14The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: "The LORD is our righteousness." 
Annunciation by Raphael Soyer, 1980
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Psalm 25:1-10
1To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
2O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
3Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
5Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
6Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness' sake, O LORD!
8Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees. 

The illustrations today are from two very different painters who had very different life experiences.  Both deal with the news from Gabriel to Mary in very different ways, and in extremely nontraditional ways.  Read both the Hebrew passage from Jeremiah, and the Psalm.  Take a few minutes to look into the two pictures.  

What character appeals the most to you?  Why?

When you concentrate on the top one, what feeling do you identify with in the painting?

How is it different from the feeling you get in the bottom one?

What if anything, surprises you in either picture?

The pools lie on the slopes and valleys
Cool promise
Earth is sleeping
What does until look like?

Stay with the images, the readings, and the poem as long as you like and as long as it's helpful.  Breathe and relax, and thanks for being here today. 

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