Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Another Painting for Epiphany Season

My colleague, Prof. Rich Jones, preached in chapel today illustrating his words with reference to a painting here in the National Gallery of Art, Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi, "The Adoration of the Magi," c. 1440/1460. Rich said it was one of the favorite paintings of Murray Newman, one of the OT professors who taught here at VTS in the preceding generation. It turns out, I have blogged on this painting once before (click here). What Rich emphasized (and I did not mention this detail in that previous post) is the long, splendid procession that follows in the wake of the three Magi/kings, symbolizing all the races of humankind, waiting to pay homage to the new-born Christ.

During Epiphany season, we should find ourselves here, within this winding procession, which snakes around through Bethlehem's arching gate and off into the distance in the paintings upper right.

The image calls to mind Epiphany texts such as Isa 60:3, "Nations will come to your light"; Isa 60:11, "With their kings led in procession"; Isa 60:14, "The children of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you."


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