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Tag Archives | scripture

My Guinness, a Pint-Sized savior!

Today’s Advent Art Meditation is from 1 John 1: 4-7. John is talking about not just saying you know Jesus, but really “knowing” him in a way that makes it hard to fake.

JN792_Guinness

A Pint of Guinness

The Holy Spirit is like a pint of Guinness. OK, I know that’s a bit of a leap, but I was talking with my Irish friends this morning via Facebook as they were about to eat dinner and I was about to eat breakfast, and my free-association logic kicked in.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

I could sneak a glass of stout at home, sit in a dark room and drink it alone. I could then claim “Yes, I’ve had that drink.” But there would be something missing. Other than a possible drunken stupor, there would be no lasting emotional connection. What’s the big deal? I probably should have had water. I missed the point of the libation. I would not have understood it is meant to be enjoyed with others.

Or…I could enjoy a pint in a pub with my friends and my friend’s friends, enjoying music by a local fiddler and swapping stories. Now the beer is a vehicle for communication. It loosens everyone up, makes the laughter flow. I will have a whole different experience. The drink facilitates community. It is meant to be shared in communion with fellow pub patrons.

The reign of Jesus is like that…A child, a pint-sized savior came to show us the way to God, to intoxicate us with His love. We are meant to drink Him in, make Him part of us. When Jesus rose from the dead and Mary Magdalene saw Him in the garden, she was tempted to run to Him. He said, “Do not cling to me for I have not returned to the Father.” This line was always a bit mysterious to me, but perhaps he did not want us to cling to the earthly, physical version of himself like an idol. He came to teach us to cling to the hope beyond this world. He left us with the Holy Spirit to inspire us to bring hope TO the world. Like the drink, it opens us up to communicate, love each other, and work towards “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Don’t worship the drink. Live in the fellowship it creates.

No wonder the Irish call their land “God’s Country”.

This 10 x 10″ painting is available here.

Your Purpose Will Find You

Family Tree © Jen Norton

Family Tree, Acrylic on paper

Today’s Advent meditation is on Jeremiah 33:14-16

Today is bill-paying day. I have a hard time with this task, not because I can’t handle simple subtraction, but because it’s so dang boring, my mind wanders. I often find myself, pen in hand, realizing that 10 minutes have passed and the empty check still sits before me (no, I haven’t migrated to online billing yet). You should not hire me as your book-keeper. It’s not my calling.

We all have a purpose determined by our talents, desires and skills. As one of my friends likes to say, “What’s for you won’t pass you by.” In this verse from Jeremiah, God assures us that He will keep his promise and that David will always have an heir to his throne. How could David (or Jeremiah) have known that somewhere down the line, his descendent would be Jesus Himself? In his own time, David was somewhat of a celebrity. Popular, musically gifted… a regular McDreamy of the biblical world. Like current pop-culture celebrities, he often fell victim to his own inflated ego. He did some bad stuff, like stealing his friend Uriah’s wife and then arranging to have him killed to hide his own guilt. He ignored his family in favor of work for so long that he didn’t realize his wives and children were plotting against each other for the throne. Still, he kept turning back to God, and when he realized his own evil mistakes, he showed true repentance. For some reason, God kept favoring him, forgiving his transgressions (although not without punishment). God kept his promise of salvation through the lineage of David. David’s purpose could not “pass him by.” Good God, I guess there’s hope for us all!

Today’s painting is of a tree, a family tree maybe. At the risk of mixing my biblical metaphors, Jesus promised that if we have faith only the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains (although he never says how long those mountains take to move). At the base of the tree is the “mustard seed” heart. From this, the tree grows, branching out into colorful boughs. This tree was painted over a previously rejected piece of art that’s been hiding in my junk pile for a few years. The glow of color emerging from the rough acrylic layers is from that earlier attempt. It never made it to a frame, but its purpose here is apparent. This tree would not be as bright if I had tossed the old piece. It had a purpose. I think I understand why God favored David so much.

This painting is available here.