22 December 2017
The image of the Nativity comes through our letter box in many guises. Sometimes in words only, such as this short extract from a hymn by well-known writer Brian Wren:
“Oh, how joyfully, Oh! how thankfully,
wakes the world on Christmas morn!
God has spoken, death is broken,
Alleluia! Christ is born!
More often the Nativity comes as a picture, an ever-popular subject throughout the ages. Of the contemporary ones that we have been sent, my favorite is a traditional image of the Holy Family with a mob of shepherds.
Painted by one of the artists supported by the International Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, a “democratic co-operative for disabled artists”, the painstaking detail, skill and surely love of the subject shows in every brushstroke.
Numbers of sheep, resting or feeding round a radiant manger, speak volumes. Unlike the shepherds, who gasp and stare in astonished awe (“This blessing? For us?”), the sheep are unfazed by the bright glory; some are even asleep.
Restful, nourished, refreshed, blessed.
May your Christmas be exactly that.