It all began with a question: What if during Advent, we began with four lit candles and each week lit one less, quieting/stilling our way toward the center Christ candle? How could a question like that be imaged?
One person said it’s like a countdown… Yes, indeed! I’ve also suggested that it mirrors our physical experience (in the Northern Hemisphere) with light.
The image breaks into five vertical panels, from right to left: four lit candles, three, two, one, and the Christ candle with the Madonna and Child.
One of the things that delights me is that in the tradition of reading left to right, the image begins with Christ. God is with us all along. Becoming quieter can help us discern that. I had a conversation early on about my desire to have people move through the image from right to left, like coming back to the beginning. The person I was talking with told me about the “O, Antiphons.” Really, really interesting stuff… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Antiphons. And although it can’t be proven, I choose to leave room for the mystery.
Download (free) this image in black and white using the link below. Add your own color this Advent!
Check out the liturgies that accompany the images… it’s all free here from LEAD – https://waytolead.org/portfolio-item/advent-2017/
Renewal of Creation
Renewal of Life
Renewal of Sight
Renewal of Hope
Renewal of Spirit
A friend recently described one of the images above as a “visual mantra” … a partnering of words that was very pleasing to my soul.
Inspired by prayers written by Rev. Melissa Johnson Bills for the Tenth Triennial Gathering of the Women of the ELCA, it’s my hope that working on the images is preparing me for the “All Anew” theme of the Gathering.
Some morning journaling time with a page awaiting completion led to an invitation outside. See the burning bush at the lower left of the second photo? When I got closer, I realized there were white blossoms on it, just doing their thing, opening to Love. Perhaps I should have removed my slippers… they’re quite wet now. 🙂
“All suffering cries out to God and elicits divine compassion and community.” ~Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation
Lord, hear our cry and have mercy.
“From within this loving relationship [the Trinity], the Christ came forth to draw us back (through the enfleshed Jesus) to where we all originally came from.” ~Richard Rohr Daily Meditation
‘liminal moments’ ~ those moments when the little hairs on our arms rise, when goose bumps appear, when tears well up
“Being part of the cosmic dance can only be known experientially.” ~Richard Rohr
Recently Richard Rohr’s meditation described the all-vulnerable God; Rohr’s words plus Mary Oliver’s writing on Walt Whitman led me to this prayer.
“Prayer, ‘piercing prayer’–as Julian of Norwich called it–affects something mightily. It pierces to the heart of God, like a strong electric current coursing through the Mercy, subtly rearranging and vivifying everything.” ~Cynthia Bourgeault, Mystical Hope
praying for those whose lives preach the Good News
Oh, to be about this work first.