Bible Workbench: First Sunday after Christmas- December 26, 2010

Text: Matthew 2:13-23

“A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” Matthew offers Herod’s massacre of children as a “fulfillment” of the “prophecy,” found in Jeremiah 31:15. Yet, this image of Rachel, the matriarch of Israel, weeping for her children seems less a prophecy than a description of the tragic state of the people of Israel in exile, as yet unredeemed. How many other times in the past and even today is Jeremiah’s description “fulfilled.” Where do you find mothers weeping for their children in the pages of the morning newspaper, on the TV, in your own day-to-day living? What kind of “fulfillment” might these mothers wish for, hope for, dream of?

– Andy Kille

This Sunday’s design invites you to consider some artistic renderings of the story of Jesus, Herod, the Slaying of the Innocents and the Flight into Egypt. Here are some links for your consideration:

Flight Into Egypt

Begin by “reading” the story of the “Flight Into Egypt” through the eyes of several artists. Paintings and sculpture can easily be found with the help of Google. Search on the Internet for this art title under the names of Giotto (a fresco in Padua), Vittore Carpaccio (National Gallery in D.C.), Joachim Beuckelaer (Antwerp) and the Gaudi sculpture in Barcelona. Take some time to sit with these versions of the story.

Slaughter of the Innocents

A group called VOCA (Voices of Children Alliance) is waiting to show you the story in a rich array of artists portraying “The Holy Innocents” or “Slaughter of the Innocents.” Take some extra time with Giotto, Bruegel, Cogniet, and Carl Bloch.

Type in “Regina Coeli deWinter—The Slaughter of the Innocents.” What is the artist showing or telling you? What of your world is in this painting?

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