The Art of Advent

I am reading The Art of Advent: A Painting a Day from Advent to Epiphany by Jane Williams.

As you might guess, it gives a painting for each day with a reflection and a short prayer.

Today’s picture was the above – The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt.

It’s a very familiar picture but I had never noticed what Williams points out – that there are 3 sources of light within it.

There’s the dawn light struggling through the dark trees – which makes me think of hope, far off perhaps, but still fighting through the gloom.

Then there’s the lantern that Jesus carries – a friendly light to my mind, calling us in.

And finally there’s a light coming from Jesus himself, shining round his head – this I see as the light of holiness, reminding us that this stranger knocking on our door is God himself, humbly asking for our attention in a strange and wonderful turn of events.

And the prayer that Williams gives us at the end:

Lord of gentle might, may we hear the patient knocking of your Son, Jesus Christ, this Advent, and open all our doors to the flood of your mercy, poured out for us in the power of the Spirit. Amen.