The first touch between a baby and its Mother, Father or loved one is an incredibly unique moment. When those teeny tiny baby fingers wrap themselves around your finger, well, I know my heart instantly liquefies. I'm sure babies could solve world peace - we are powerless! To me, Jesus was from the beginning the ultimate first touch of joy, brought into the world through our infinitely loving God.
In this season of advent, I'm mindful to wait in joyful hope... waiting to celebrate the incarnation of God in the birth of Jesus. When I think about advent I don't think about it like waiting at a dentist's office or waiting for test results. It's more like waiting at an airport for a loved one to arrive, or waiting for a birthday party, the news is more than good!
Following advent we celebrate Jesus' birth (Christmas). Because of his birth we can also give thanks for his life. His actions and parables now reach out to us all, showing us that we all have divinity within us, we are all family. We are true kindred, all wonderfully made, all divine gifts from our creator God. As Daniel O'Leary explains "The human love of Jesus was the divine love of God. So is ours." In many ways I think Jesus's incarnation and life teaches us that the good news can be heard as a symphony, a gift from beyond, now played by a variety of musicians (all creatures great and small). We can choose to love all as family as he did. Perhaps we too can live divine love when we recognise our kinship with other musicians, simply proclaiming 'the Christ in me sees the Christ in you' - together we are the symphony.
I have created this image as an illustrated symphony, a window into how I imagine the Nativity scene might look today. When praying/thinking about the Nativity I found my imagination being drawn towards the hands and feet of little baby Jesus. He would have grabbed onto Mary's finger, connected his little hands and feet with Mary, Joseph and others he encountered. No words can adequately explain the first touch of a baby or what that would have been like 2000+ years ago, so... I hope this illustration communicates some of that love without words.
Some artwork notes about this piece:
- Mary's hand gently hovers on the right as Jesus grabs tight.
- Multiple skin tones symbolise that Jesus came for all nations and all people.
- Joseph's Hoodie symbolises travel-wear that might be typical of a rebel refugee today. Perhaps he would be cold all huddled up in a refugee tent today?
- See if you can find other symbols?
- Jesus was radically inclusive, I wonder where he learned to include all 'colours'?
- Look, imagine, perhaps read the Nativity scripture and see what is revealed for you?
Thank you for journeying with me this year. I am deeply grateful to be growing with vulnerability as part of an incredible family. I'm listening, finding my feet in religious life, connecting, falling, getting up, dancing, waiting, one step at a time. I hope this advent and Christmas season is full of joy, may we all embrace our gifts of many colours. As Richard Rohr reminds us "It's all a gift".
Much love and merry Christmas family
- View this month's News Flash: December #7. Discover Christmas cards, a wonderful animation and a rendition of Joy to the World.
Watch below to see the 30 second illustration creation