In 2017, Mindi Oaten was commissioned to do a painting for every book of the Bible. At the end of two years, the work was completed, and I was invited to write a summary and poem to go alongside each painting. After ten months, that work has been completed. We are now in the final stages of compiling a book that should be available sometime in 2021.
It has been a blessing to immerse ourselves in the Bible as a whole. As Christians, we often downplay the importance of the Old Testament, but the threads of God’s grace weave together in a tapestry revealed at the coming of Jesus. It is our prayer that you will see advent from a different perspective as you journey with us during these next twenty-seven days.
May the Lord keep you in his love and care.
The Opening Act
Genesis | "The Promised Seed" by Mindi Oaten
"And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." (Genesis 2:8-9)
“Hindsight is 20/20” has taken on new meaning as we come to the close of this year. Our world has been disrupted by the introduction of an invisible virus; causing us to reflect on what we have lost. Who would have believed that we would be in this place a year ago when we were preparing for Christmas 2019?
Advent began in the garden of Eden with God’s beloved, Adam and Eve. Imagine his delight in creating the universe in a moment, with the breath of his Word and the dance of the Spirit. The fireworks of light were the artist’s palette that he swirled into stars and planets. Time stood still as he crafted a home for his creatures amidst a feast of colour, sound, taste, scent and touch. From the beginning he had you in mind; like a bridegroom preparing for his bride. But it all went terribly wrong when we exchanged our innocence for sovereignty, testing the limits of his love. No longer able to see his face or walk with him in the garden, humanity began a tragic alienation that corrupted the earth and replaced the divine center with self-interest.
Yet a seed remains of the original beauty, truth and goodness, reminding us that we were created for so much more. We pause in those moments of transcendent joy, to feel God’s presence and wait for his return. Thus begins our advent journey.
“Oh Lord, we give you thanks for the beauty we see in creation. Your love is evident in the natural world and in the relationships we hold most dear. Prepare our hearts for your coming during this time of advent. Walk with us as we ponder the changes in our life this past year.” Amen