Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30″
One of the aspects of Advent and Christmas we often forget is how God’s birth and reign turned the world on its head. We want to think of Christ as bringing love and happiness which he certainly does. But Advent is also a time of repentance, a time to consider the ways in which we have not acted in holy and just ways. In passages like the Magnificat, we hear that the hungry will be filled and the rich sent away empty (Luke 1: 53). At this time of year, we also hear words from the prophets who warn us what will happen if we refuse to take care of the poor.
Amos warns us what will happen if we “trample on the needy” (v. 4).
“Pilate said to them, ‘Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?’ All of them said, ‘Let him be crucified!'” (Matthew 27:22, NRSV)
Who is innocent?
Who is guilty?
I started writing this while sitting in a hospital waiting area. Thankfully, there was a Starbucks in the building, so a very tall coffee sat next to me.
My one-year-old nephew went into the ER this past weekend. Once he was in a room, and I was able to see him, I was slightly taken aback. He was hooked up to so many things. And meds were being pumped into his little body. All to help him be more comfortable as they ran various tests.
Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash
It was hard looking at my little Buddy lying in a huge hospital bed. I couldn’t help but find myself thinking about my dad. Some eighteen years ago he was in and out of the hospital due to prostate cancer.
The present was neatly wrapped
Ribbon red flowing down the side
Elegantly given and kept
A gift of love, grace, and of pride
The act that was so clearly apt.
Photo by DiEtte Henderson on Unsplash
Gary Bower is an ordained pastor who has years of experience in ministry with children, teens, and adults. His ministry has developed his ability to communicate to a wide ranging audience. He is the author of sixteen books, including two new board books, God Love the World and God Paints the World.
Both books use rhyme, which is attractive to young ears. The illustrations by Tracy Cottingham are colorful and engaging.
God Paints the World
In this little book, children are introduced to various colors. As well as parts of creation that are that color. For example, when the color red is introduced, we meet a cardinal who likes to eat berries. Cottingham’s illustrations make use of the color in creative ways, making it fun and educational.