Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas 2010

I have promised myself that the space between now and the day after New Year's Day will be Internet free. Therefore, this is my last entry until January 2, 2011. My Christmas wishes are below.

The mixed media distressed painting shown above was made for the front of our Christmas card this year. In that artwork I am directly quoting William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s painting, Madonna & Child. The image is buried under two layers of paint, torn, and scraped, the torn reversed partial image, removed from the complete image and laminated above and to the side of the image's corner. I drew gold leaf lines around the repeated image of Madonna and Child to emphasize the value of the gift God gave to all humankind. The distressed technique lent itself to the expression of my notion that Jesus’ actual message of peace and love has been distorted and – yes, damaged – by the various Christian institutions. No, I do not personally hear Jesus, or converse with him as so many others claim. When I pray, I talk to God, and I ask for things like strength and a better understanding of others. In all humility, God doesn’t talk back. Instead, I sense his presence. How to explain that - warmth inside like a light within, accompanied by a heart-felt flutter, like any of us feel when another person performs an act of love and/or kindness toward us personally or toward another present, whether they be human or animal.

At the same time I know this as fact. God doesn’t have to tell me that Jesus Christ walked on this earth, and that he lacked prejudice against any people or person. Neither race, nationality, ethnicity, religion nor sexuality made him fearful or angry. God doesn’t have to tell me that Jesus Christ did not advocate war. Other men may advocate war. Jesus of Nazareth did not. Most of all, God doesn't have to tell me that all men may walk with Jesus.

With these thoughts in mind, my seemingly impossible Christmas wish is that the spirit of this holiday - in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ - will bless us with his love, and the peace he desires for all mankind.

1 comment:

Betsy Grant said...

Thank you for your lovely thoughts John.