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Archive for June, 2016


Matthew 4:1-11: Bread and Stone

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ivan Kramskoy: Christ in the Desert

Ivan Kramskoy: Christ in the Desert

Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was

ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. (Mathew 4:1-2)

We ought not be surprised when conflict or doubt settle into our lives. When our brother Jesus experienced great temptation he turns to God. Why should not we?

Today we consider our options when we are confronted by great obstacles and great challenges. For more on how Jesus handled temptation, visit The Temptations page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/the-temptations/

To learn more about this painting, click on the image. To suggest other images we might enjoy seeing, enter the painter and the name of the work as a the comment to this post.

Over the next few weeks we will be away from easy internet access but we will be pausing to read scripture and to pray and reflect at noon, keeping those in The Noontime Circle in mid-day prayer. You may want to click on the Connecting at Noon page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/ Or you may want to follow a series of brief posts that begins today, inspired by paintings of the life of Jesus Christ  that can be found at: http://www.jesus-story.net/painting_family.htm In these posts, we will have the opportunity to reflect on a scripture verse and an artist’s rendition of that event. Wishing you grace and love and peace in Christ Jesus.

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Matthew 3: Delight of My Life

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Paolo Veronese and Paolo Caliari Workshop: The Baptism of Christ (detail)

Paolo Veronese and Paolo Caliari Workshop: The Baptism of Christ (detail)

The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God’s Spirit—it looked like a dove—descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

The miracle of our existence is that each of us is a child of God. With Christ as a brother, how can we go wrong? We only need follow. With the loving comfort of the Spirit, how can we refuse? We only need rest in the consoling heart of God.

To learn more about this painting, click on the image. To suggest other images we might enjoy seeing, enter the painter and the name of the work as a the comment to this post.

Paolo Veronese Workshop: The Baprism of Christ

Paolo Veronese Workshop: The Baptism of Christ

Over the next few weeks we will be away from easy internet access but we will be pausing to read scripture and to pray and reflect at noon, keeping those in The Noontime Circle in mid-day prayer. You may want to click on the Connecting at Noon page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/ Or you may want to follow a series of brief posts that begins today, inspired by paintings of the life of Jesus Christ  that can be found at: http://www.jesus-story.net/painting_family.htm In these posts, we will have the opportunity to reflect on a scripture verse and an artist’s rendition of that event. Wishing you grace and love and peace in Christ Jesus.

 

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Luke 2: As Usual

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Vasiliy Polenov: Among the Teachers

Vasiliy Polenov: Among the Teachers

Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to the festival as usual. When the festival was over, they started back home, but the boy Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know this; they thought that he was with the group, so they traveled a whole day and then started looking for him among their relatives and friends. They did not find him, so they went back to Jerusalem looking for him. (Luke 2:41-45)

With the words “as usual,” Luke tells us that Jesus’ family were faithful followers of the Torah and we wonder how deeply they understood that the child they were raising was God among us. We imagine that late night dialogs that took place between this mother and father. And we picture the conversation that surely took place between these parents and this child.

Today we pray for all those families who have no spiritual center. We pray for those who are prevented from finding solace in the physical presence of a spiritual community. We pray for those who use spirituality as a cudgel to punish others. And we pray for the wisdom of the young Jesus to enlighten our hearts and minds.

To learn more about this painting, click on the image. To suggest other images we might enjoy seeing, enter the painter and the name of the work as a the comment to this post.

Over the next few weeks we will be away from easy internet access but we will be pausing to read scripture and to pray and reflect at noon, keeping those in The Noontime Circle in mid-day prayer. You may want to click on the Connecting at Noon page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/ Or you may want to follow a series of brief posts that begins today, inspired by paintings of the life of Jesus Christ  that can be found at: http://www.jesus-story.net/painting_family.htm In these posts, we will have the opportunity to reflect on a scripture verse and an artist’s rendition of that event. Wishing you grace and love and peace in Christ Jesus.

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Luke 2: Living in Obedience

Monday, June 27, 2016

William Holman Hunt: The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple

William Holman Hunt: The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple

His mother said, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you.” (Luke 2:48)

Anyone involved in the life of an adolescent feels the anguish of Mary as Luke describes it.

He said, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be here, dealing with the things of my Father?” But they had no idea what he was talking about. (Luke 2:49-50)

Anyone who teaches or trains young people in any field knows the disconnect that so often takes place between generations.

So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people. (Luke 2:51-52)

Anyone who loves a young person and nurtures her or him into adulthood recognizes the dynamics we witness in Luke’s story.

Today we pray for young people around the globe and those who seek to guide them. We pray for wisdom and patience. We pray for understanding and courage. We pray for compassion and love. May we as adults learn to live in obedience to the Spirit even as the youngster Jesus did.

To learn more about this painting, click on the image. To suggest other images we might enjoy seeing, enter the painter and the name of the work as a the comment to this post.

Over the next few weeks we will be away from easy internet access but we will be pausing to read scripture and to pray and reflect at noon, keeping those in The Noontime Circle in mid-day prayer. You may want to click on the Connecting at Noon page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/ Or you may want to follow a series of brief posts that begins today, inspired by paintings of the life of Jesus Christ  that can be found at: http://www.jesus-story.net/painting_family.htm In these posts, we will have the opportunity to reflect on a scripture verse and an artist’s rendition of that event. Wishing you grace and love and peace in Christ Jesus.

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1 Peter 2: Shepherd of Souls

Sunday, June 26, 2016

John Everett Millais: Christ in the Carpenter's Shop

John Everett Millais: Christ in the Carpenter’s Shop

They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going. Now you’re named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls. (1 Peter 2:24-25)

We humans tend to shy away from suffering of any kind, even when we know that we learn from our mistakes and not from our successes. As we consider our many failures, rather than focus on our imperfections, let us rather consider how persistent we might be in following the one true Shepherd of souls.

File written by Adobe Photoshop¨ 5.0

John Herbert: The Youth of Our Lord

Critics comment that Herbert foreshadows the cross with the workshop bits on the ground and we see how the young Jesus stares intently at these pieces of wood which have carelessly fallen into the shape of a cross. The family in Millais’s painting was seen as too “ordinary” when it was first shown. What might the criticism be today?

To learn more about these paintings, click on the images. To suggest other images we might enjoy seeing, enter the painter and the name of the work as a the comment to this post.

Over the next few weeks we will be away from easy internet access but we will be pausing to read scripture and to pray and reflect at noon, keeping those in The Noontime Circle in mid-day prayer. You may want to click on the Connecting at Noon page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/ Or you may want to follow a series of brief posts that begins today, inspired by paintings of the life of Jesus Christ  that can be found at: http://www.jesus-story.net/painting_family.htm In these posts, we will have the opportunity to reflect on a scripture verse and an artist’s rendition of that event. Wishing you grace and love and peace in Christ Jesus.

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1 John 5: Walking with God

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Morgan Weistling: Walking with God

Morgan Weistling: Walking with God

And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know God who is true; and we are in God who is true, in God’s Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5:20)

In this chapter of John’s first letter we are told how we might conquer the world: believing in Christ, observing God’s commandments, living out the testimony we witness in God’s loving care for us, believing in God’s message that we are given the gift of eternal life that is quite real and not an illusion, and entering into dialog with God who loves us more than we can understand or imagine.

What do we see in Weistling’s painting? A loving father who gingerly holds his child’s hands – not too tightly and not too loosely. We see a small, eager face filled with confidence and trust – looking up, looking forward. We see traces of a workshop, the messy business of life where there are pitfalls and obstacles to overcome and learn from rather than deny or avoid. Perhaps the child’s mother has brought her husband a meal or has stopped for a quick visit between father and child. We might ask ourselves: are the parents aware of the dangers of the workshop and the world? Most likely they are. We might also ask as we pause today: Is the father teaching the child . . . or is the child teaching the father? How much might we learn from the small ones around us?

Weistling: Kissing the face of God

Weistling: Kissing the face of God

Today we reflect on our own first steps as children and we remember that the human Christ had to learn how to stumble, how to fall, and how to stand again. We reflect on how we as adults have nurtured the children given as gift to us. And we reflect on how we might become childlike in our trust in and dependence on God. Are we the worried parent always looking to avoid the fall? Or are we the eager child always trusting in the Lord?

To learn more about these paintings, click on the images. 

Over the next few weeks we will be away from easy internet access but we will be pausing to read scripture and to pray and reflect at noon, keeping those in The Noontime Circle in mid-day prayer. You may want to click on the Connecting at Noon page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/ Or you may want to follow a series of brief posts that begins today, inspired by paintings of the life of Jesus Christ  that can be found at: http://www.jesus-story.net/painting_family.htm In these posts, we will have the opportunity to reflect on a scripture verse and an artist’s rendition of that event. Wishing you grace and love and peace in Christ Jesus.

 

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Luke 2: Growing in Wisdom

Friday, June 24, 2016

Tanner: Christ and his Mother studying Scriptures

Henry Ossawa Tanner: Christ and his Mother studying Scriptures

When Joseph and Mary had finished doing all that was required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to their hometown of Nazareth in Galilee. The child grew and became strong; he was full of wisdom, and God’s blessings were upon him. (Luke 2:39-40)

Being a woman of God, Mary would have believed all that the angel Gabriel said to her and her husband Joseph. She would have relied on the Scriptures and she would have made certain that her son was imbued with the Law, the Prophets and the Books of Wisdom. Today we reflect on our own struggle to take in and make our own ancient words and traditions. We reflect on how we also might grow in God’s wisdom, how we might best share with others the Good News that Jesus has come to live among us.

To learn more about this painting, click on the image. 

Over the next few weeks we will be away from easy internet access but we will be pausing to read scripture and to pray and reflect at noon, keeping those in The Noontime Circle in mid-day prayer. You may want to click on the Connecting at Noon page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/ Or you may want to follow a series of brief posts that begins today, inspired by paintings of the life of Jesus Christ  that can be found at: http://www.jesus-story.net/painting_family.htm In these posts, we will have the opportunity to reflect on a scripture verse and an artist’s rendition of that event. Wishing you grace and love and peace in Christ Jesus.

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Matthew 2: Responding to God’s Call

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Corbert Gauthier: Father and Son

Corbert Gauthier: Father and Son

Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod died. This was done to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet, “I called my Son out of Egypt.” (Matthew 2:14-15)

The child Jesus holds a wooden beam, foreshadowing his coming crucifixion and sacrifice. Joseph leans into his work with the child, perhaps sensing the sacrifice that is to come. In responding to the angel of God, Joseph saves his small family from immediate death, and preserves Jesus for the journey ahead that leads not only to Calvary, but to eternal life for all. Today we reflect on the fact that we cannot know what is to come. It is for this reason all the more important that we rely on God’s counsel and love.

To learn more about this painting, click on the image. 

Over the next few weeks we will be away from easy internet access but we will be pausing to read scripture and to pray and reflect at noon, keeping those in The Noontime Circle in mid-day prayer. You may want to click on the Connecting at Noon page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/ Or you may want to follow a series of brief posts that begins today, inspired by paintings of the life of Jesus Christ  that can be found at: http://www.jesus-story.net/painting_family.htm In these posts, we will have the opportunity to reflect on a scripture verse and an artist’s rendition of that event. Wishing you grace and love and peace in Christ Jesus.

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Matthew 1: Doing What is Right

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Georde de la Tour: St. Joseph the Carpenter

George de la Tour: St. Joseph the Carpenter

Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement privately. While he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. (Matthew 1:19-20)

There are many times in our own lives when we do not understand our circumstances. We might use Joseph as an example of how to move forward in the face of deep grief or fear. Rather than allow fear and doubt to paralyze us, we must turn to what we know, and we must turn to God.

When we live in the Creator, wisdom always arrives. When we live in Christ, courage always finds us. And when we live in the Spirit, peace takes over our lives . . . even on those days when they are filled with strife.

To learn more about this painting, click on the image. 

Over the next few weeks we will be away from easy internet access but we will be pausing to read scripture and to pray and reflect at noon, keeping those in The Noontime Circle in mid-day prayer. You may want to click on the Connecting at Noon page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/connecting-at-noon/ Or you may want to follow a series of brief posts that begins today, inspired by paintings of the life of Jesus Christ  that can be found at: 

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