Today’s Gospel in Art: First Sunday of Advent

Specter, Photo by Dylan Arnold, 2017 © Dylan Arnold Photography

Source: Christian art

Gospel of November 28, 2021 – Luke 21: 25-28,34-36

Jesus said to his disciples: “There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; on the land of nations in agony, stunned by the clamor of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear while waiting for what threatens the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things start to happen, stand up straight, hold your head up, for your release is at hand.

“Take heed to yourselves, or your hearts will be swollen with debauchery and drunkenness and cares of life, and that day will fall upon you suddenly, like a trap. For he will come upon every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, pray at all times for the strength to survive whatever is to come and to stand confidently before the Son of Man. ‘

Reflection on photography

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Now is the time to look back, to look ahead. We celebrate the birth of Christ our Lord two thousand years ago, but we also live in anticipation of his second coming. So Advent and Christmas are not only celebrations of the past and the past, but a preparation for what is to come.

Over the next few weeks, nights get longer, darkness sets in, but in our cities and streets the Christmas lights will come on. Candles will be lit. We should not be tempted to move quickly until the arrival of the light of Christ on December 25th. Maybe this year, let’s be quiet in the dark during Advent and really get ready. Advent tells us that the world was in darkness before the birth of the Light of the world. Even the liturgy for the next four weeks is slightly stripped down. We are not singing the ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo’ which will return to Mass on Christmas Eve, as it comes from Luke chapter 2, when the angels declare to the shepherds that the Messiah is born.

Our work of art today is a light painting. It is a photographic genre that has developed in recent years, with increasingly advanced cameras capable of filming in the depths of the night. Photographic artists move vivid trails of light over pitch-black environments to create unusual and unpredictable effects when the camera’s shutter is held open for a long time. Our photograph here had a shutter open for over 20 seconds. These long-exposure works transform light sources brought into the dark into beautifully designed works.

The Advent wreath will be lit, one candle per week. The light will gradually enter our churches and homes… we all look forward to the adventus or ‘arrival’ of the Light of Christ.


Today’s story –
Christian art –

Key words: Christian art, Patrick van der Vorst, Dylan Arnold

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