Christian Art and the Bible – Luke 2: 15-21

This is slightly behind as it was part of the reading for Christmas Day!

Luke 2:15-21New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Jesus Is Named

21 After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Angels Announcing the Birth of Christ to the Shepherds – Govert Flinck. Oil on panel, 1639.

Govert Flinck was a Dutch painter and draftsman, born in Kleve on the 25th January 1615. Died in Amsterdam on the 2nd February 1660.

This painting currently resides in the Lovre Museum in Paris. It is believed this painting is inspired by Rembrandt’s engraving on the same subject from 1639. The Angels Appearing tot he Shepherds.

Both, depict an emotional image of shepherds confronted in the middle of the night by angels. The piercing light reaches through the clouds and the darkness. In Flinck painting it is easier to see the shock, surprise and wondering what on earth is going on, particularly as one in the foreground looks as though they have just woken him from his slumber and another with his hands firmly clasped together praying – who knows what for?

About localpreacherforkliftdriver

I am currently a Methodist Minister in the Huddersfield Circuit with pasoral charge of Hade edge, Scholes, Parkwood and Bradley churches. Views are my own.
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