with Palette Knife
As an artist, I’m very aware of the concept of “work in progress.” It’s that messy stage of a painting that lives between inspiration and completion. Often times, many artists are reluctant to share their “WIPs” with others for fear of judgment or rejection of their unfinished work. The audience cannot see the end result. It exists only in the mind’s eye of the artist.
This year’s Advent scriptures show us images of a world changing into a new creation of joy, justice and peace. From beating swords into plowshares to lions and fatlings lying together, the images of God’s kingdom abound in these ancient texts of hope.
Two thousand years after Christ, however, we struggle to find where these dreams have come fully true. But if we look at God’s work of grace though Jesus Christ as a WIP, the discrepancies make more sense.
During Advent we live out this mystery. We celebrate by remembering the Prophets of old, longing for the Advent of Emmanuel. By doing so, we also wait for Christ’s return. Christ has come. Christ will come again. And somewhere in between, we continue in the WIP of the kingdom.
The painting for this year’s “Joy to the World” Advent theme is called “New Earth.” The inspiration comes from Revelation 21, where we are shown images of a new heaven and a new earth. The painting depicts a future earth, full of joy and peace, in orbit with the Christ star. It is to give us perspective and hope when we are discouraged in our season of working and waiting. We are all a work in progress. We need these images from scripture to glimpse the big picture from God, the master painter, and keep ourselves motivated to work towards the completion of God’s masterpiece of grace.