Monday, March 22, 2010

Let There Be Light

A reflection on Gregory the Illuminator, Bishop of Armenia

+ May the Holy One of Israel send the Holy Spirit, gentle as a dove, living as fire, to illuminate our lives and reveal the presence of the Sun of Righteousness.

In the fifteenth century Western art took an important step out of the middle ages and into the renaissance with the discovery of light and shading. Flat images became living figures that moved and breathed, capturing the attention of the viewer and empowering her or his imagination. On the one hand, the objects, events and persons portrayed by the medieval artist had not changed. But, on the other hand, the ability to express the meanings and potentials of these subjects took a massive step forward in the renaissance. The familiar world of Giotto and Fra Angelico became the different world of Michelangelo and Leonardi da Vinci.

As we come to the end of our Lenten observance, we meet Gregory the Illuminator, the apostle of the Armenians. The prayers used in the Anglican Church of Canada speak of his bringing the light of the gospel to his people. Lest we think that his people lived in total darkness, however, let us remember that the world was already filled with the signs of its Creator whose Word redeems it and whose Spirit sanctifies it. It was Gregory's vocation in bringing the gospel light to give new depth and meaning to the lives of his people. Their familiar world now looked different and their future was forever changed.

The light of the gospel gives the objects, events and persons of our lives depth. They no longer lie flat upon the surface of living; they spring three-dimensional into our awareness. The gospel reveals their presence to us by beckoning us to go beyond the surface and to explore the depths where the mystery of the divine life awaits our encounter. Our familiar world is transfigured as we discover God peeking out at us from the shadows and depths of our days.

May the light of the gospel illuminate our lives today, tomorrow and into the tomorrow of tomorrows. May we, like Gregory, live lives that illuminate the world around us so that others may see the depths and the mystery of their own lives revealed in the light of the good news of God in Jesus Christ. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for this. As an artist, what you have written resonates with me. I trust you are well. Pax. Br. Shane