Monday, March 17, 2008

Go To Dark Gethsemane

As a young boy, I would have the rare opportunity to enter my grandmother's "parlor", that strange, dark, front room that was never used except on the rarest of occasions.

On the wall was this picture, or one much like it, framed in a wonderful old world frame. This picture served as my personal icon or mental picture of Jesus praying in the garden.

A few years back, I had the privilege of walking and praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, overlooking the Kidron valley, on the Mount of Olives. Part of me returns to that place on Maundy Thursday each year. Pictures are important to prayer, Scripture reading and faith.

1 comment:

Bob Henry said...

I too have a special connection to this painting. I have a copy of it hanging in my home and have always found the darkness of the picture so engaging (almost mezmorizing.

It gives me a sense of the "quiet before the storm." I need that feeling every now and then to put the perspective back in Lent and especially Holy Week.

As a visual learner - paintings (art in general) have always been the "thin places" spoken of in Celtic traditions. For me they create places where the curtain between heaven and earth are almost transparent. This picture is a beautiful example.

As NT Wright put so well, "Genuine art is thus itself a response to the beauty of creation, which itself is a pointer to the beauty of God." Oh, how true!

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