Life in the Desert

By Luca Galuzzi (Lucag) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
 

The subject of these paintings is ‘Christ in the Wilderness’.  Yet in this painting, Consider the Lilies (seen here), the land surrounding Jesus is anything but wilderness or desert.  It is abundant with life – green grass, blossoming flowers, trees.

Stephen Cottrell reminds (p44) us of Old Testament prophecies of the desert blossoming and bearing fruit (though I’m not sure Isaiah 42 is the right reference?).

The desert is hard work, can be painful, soul-destroying – but ultimately, and this in not something you can see while you are there, it can be a place of fruitfulness and of life.  Because when everything has been stripped away, you become sure of what you can rely on.  What your basis is, and from their you can build.  From starkness and desolation comes life and growth.

By Nicolas Perrault III (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
 

This year for Lent, I am reading Christ in the Wilderness by Bishop Stephen Cottrell, published by SPCK, reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s paintings of that title.

I’m not necessarily going to blog every day on it, just when something leaps out at me – and they will be thoughts rather than full blog posts

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