Revealing the Face of Christ

On December 21, 2008 we held our Christmas gathering and celebrated the birth of Christ. As we began to tell the Christmas story, our worship arts associate, Matt Cook, began to illustrate the Nativity, starting with a blank canvas:

As we read about the angels appearing at the birth of Jesus, so they appeared on the canvas:

And then shepherds appeared:

And the Magi:

And as Julian began to preach, the Nativity scene was completed:

But as we talked about the birth of Jesus, we came to realize that he was born into a period of darkness among his people. The covenant people of God were living under the oppression of the Roman Empire. It seemed to them as if God had abandoned them, and that all was darkness and despair. We saw that Matt’s beautiful Nativity scene, full of bright colors, perhaps didn’t reflect this initial darkness and despair and so Matt chose to take his work and begin to cover it with black paint:

We saw the bright colors start to vanish as darkness covered the canvas:

And finally we saw how dark it must have been when Jesus was born:

The coming of Christ is the event that began to chip away at this darkness and reveal the light, and so Matt took his tools and began to chip away the black paint on his canvas:

As Matt worked, we talked about how it is that each time we reach out as a community by serving a meal at a soup kitchen, we chip away at the darkness, and how the light is revealed when we work at our local food bank. Each act chips away at the darkness in the world, and we begin to see what the light reveals:

And what is revealed as the light breaks through the darkness is the face of Christ, the one who came into the world at Christmas:

And all that remained was for Matt to put down his paintbrush, pick up his guitar, and together with Ashley to lead us in singing “Silent Night”:

And so Christ came and the darkness was defeated, and that’s why we celebrate Christmas:

And we give thanks for Matt, who shared his many gifts with us that night.

Thanks for visiting!