Tempus Niblit

Quite a few years ago, I took a couple semesters of Art History classes.  When we studied the paintings of the northern European renaissance, we learned that what looked to the casual eye like a quiet domestic scene, of a woman reading in a window seat, for instance, was actually rich with symbolism in the details.  For instance, the type of flowers in the vase next to her had a specific meaning, and the little mouse down in the corner of the painting was symbolic of time.  Because time nibbles away at things, just the…
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Refinement

We are now midway through the season of Lent, which is the 6 1/2 weeks leading up to Easter.  Among other things, Lent is a time of year when we can look at the darker side of our experience; the suffering, the loss, the mistakes.  Rather than condemning us as somehow wrong or shameful, and rather than pretending that these parts of life don't exist, Lent acknowledges them, and hopes to find some meaning in them. Scripture refers to these things as being like the refiner's fire, by which silver is purified.  And we understand…
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Dusty people

We are over halfway through the season of Lent, which starts 46 days before Easter.  This season has a serious and reflective tone to it unlike any other part of the year, as we are particularly focusing our own need for redemption.  It begins on Ash Wednesday, and during the service on that day, the celebrant marks the forehead of each person, with the words "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."  The effect is striking, as it is repeated over and over. And what does this mean to us; this…
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Entanglement

Last week began the season of Lent, the period of preparation for Easter, characterized partly by silence and self-examination.  This year I've been pondering the topic of attachment, which became the subject of my Lenten piece of art. There are so many things in life that I am attached to; some healthy, and some not so healthy.  When I become very attached to something, whether it is a person or an idea or a situation, there is a danger that it will slowly start to usurp the place of God in my life.  This can…
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