Juan Fernández de Navarrete – “St John the Baptist in the Prison” 1565-70
Oil on canvas, 80 x 72 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
Winter’s cold holds trees captive, wrenching away all evidence of life. Trees that once swayed with summer songs are now touched and come to a silent, stark stillness.
John the Baptist, captive in prison, is also cut off from the evidences of the life-giving presence in Jesus. John begins to doubt, longing for a release from the torturing question, which throws him this way and that: “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
Does doubt dangle questions before you as well? The words that reassured John will do the same for you with the clarity of bells making these dark nights of the year echo with a summoning call to worship and to joy. Listen in the silence to the sounds of saving grace that sweep across your silent, emptied soul.
Blind seeing and lame walking. v. 5
Lepers cleansed and deaf hearing v. 5
Dead are raised; poor get good news. v. 5
Messenger going ahead v. 10
This is the third of four weeks in Advent, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.
Year A is dedicated to the Gospel ofLuke.
The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12, so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions near the International Date Line.