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Advent Day 11

December 10, 2008

nativity

This piece was painted by Andrew Gadd for the Churches Advertising Network. You can download it for free here.

Francis Goodwin, Chair of CAN, commented, “We want to challenge people to make them reassess what the birth of Jesus means to them.”

Gadd had this to say about it:

The bus stop when simplified is like a stable. It is after all a shelter; a place people go to but never want to be. So where better to stage a nativity? How unlikely! The image reflects the environment it will be shown in, and therefore includes the viewer. Which is what it is all about.”

My favorite part about the painting is that some people are engaged – standing still in the cold to watch what God is doing, while others are oblivious – checking bus schedules or hailing a cab, too concerned with their own lives to see what’s going on right next to them.

What does the birth of Christ mean to me? How often do I stay still, even in the cold, to watch what God is doing? To meditate on what He did 2000 years ago in a stable? Am I too busy to see the miracle right next to me?

The same is true of His approaching return. What does it mean to me really? Do I ever hold still long enough to watch what He’s doing – without worrying, without planning, without trying to figure it out? Do I ever just admire Him in it?

When He comes again it won’t be a secret, silent night. No one will have to paint it on bus stops in order to include the viewers. Those two responses, however, will still be available: watch in wonder of a merciful, loving God, or remain caught up in myself and miss it.

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