Supper at Emmaus | Art for Easter 3A

In the breaking of the bread … recognition

When [Jesus] was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.  (Luke 24:30-31)

Supper at Emmaus, 1628, oil on canvas, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1606-1669

Commentary by Hovak Najarian

When Christ was crucified, the disciple’s world was shattered and their future uncertain. Where would they go? What would they do? Two of them were on the road to Emmaus, a village near Jerusalem, and as they walked, their conversation was about Jesus and the harrowing events of the previous week. What were they to make of news received from the women who went to Jesus’ tomb and found it empty? The women said angels told them Jesus was alive. While the disciples were walking, the resurrected Jesus joined them on their journey. They were unable to recognize him, however, and when this stranger (Jesus) asked what they had been discussing, they became still. Their heads were downcast. The disciple, Cleopas, asked incredulously, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened…?” When asked, “What things?” Cleopas, recounted the ministry of Jesus the Messiah and how he was sentenced to death and crucified.

As the travelers approached the village of Emmaus, it was near evening and the disciples invited the man accompanying them to stay instead of continuing on his journey. Jesus stayed, and when they were ready to eat, he gave thanks for the bread and broke it. As bread was given to the disciples, they were shocked when they realized suddenly the man they met on the road, and now was in their presence, was Jesus. After Jesus revealed himself, he disappeared.

As a youth, Rembrandt’s schooling was in Latin and Religion and in addition to his skills in art, he developed a deep interest in the Bible. In his drawings, paintings, and etchings, he returned to biblical themes throughout his life. Rembrandt was still a young man when he painted the Supper at Emmaus, and it is a subject he returned to later. His earlier painting, shown here, depicts the exact moment Christ revealed himself to the two disciples.

The light source in a painting establishes highlights, shadows, reflections, and it gives definition to three dimensional forms. Often the light is provided by a candle, lamp, or window, and at times more than one source is included. In addition to natural and artificial sources, light emanating from Jesus has been depicted in paintings since the early Renaissance. In Rembrandt’s Supper at Emmaus, the primary source of light comes from Jesus and much of the painting is in shadow. In the background is a dim light surrounding a servant who is unaware that Christ has revealed himself to the disciples.

Upon realizing they had been walking with Jesus on their journey, and that he was now with them at the table, the two disciples were overcome. One disciple fell to his knees at Jesus’ feet. [He is in deep shadow in the central foreground.] The disciple seated across from Jesus is recoiling in awe and is overwhelmed. Perhaps fright is being experienced as well. Rembrandt made dramatic use of light and dark tones to suggest something extraordinary was taking place.

Hovak Najarian © 2017

Image on the Web Gallery of Art

Art and wonder

An insight into why we post art and music and why art and music are an important part of our Sunday Morning Forum:

The purpose of art is the gradual, lifelong construction
of a state of wonder and serenity.

Glenn Gould, pianist

From the Word for the Day (5/7/13) posted by Gratefulness.org

Wind Chimes: 11 Nov 2012

It is right, and a good and joyful thing always and everywhere to give thanks to you Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth …

Prayer beginning our Great Thanksgiving

Many of us will gather to offer “thanks and praise” to God today. All of us, as we are reminded in this video, are invited to welcome the gift of a new day with gratitude, with thanks and praise. We are further invited to share the gift as a blessing. As we give thanks today, let us especially take every opportunity to thank our Veterans for their service to us and to our country. Furthermore, let us put our words into actions throughout the year as we make sure our Veterans, our wounded Veterans in particular, are cared for by a grateful nation.

The chimes sound blessings today? What do you hear? How will you respond? ~dan

A prayer for Veterans

God of compassion,
God of dignity and strength,
Watch over the veterans of the United States
In recognition of their loyal service to our nation.
Bless them with wholeness and love.
Shelter them.
Heal their wounds,
Comfort their hearts.
Grant them peace.

God of justice and truth,
Rock of our lives,
Bless our veterans,
These men and women of courage and valor,
With a deep and abiding understanding
Of our profound gratitude.
Protect them and their families from loneliness and want.
Grant them lives of joy and bounty.
May their dedication and honor
Be remembered as a blessing
From generation to generation.

Blessed are You,
Protector and Redeemer,
Our Shield and our Stronghold.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com via Beliefnet.com
See also To Bend Light on Facebook

Video: TED on WordPress

Wind Chimes: 10 Nov 2012

renew in us … the gift of joy and wonder in all your works

Adapted from the Prayer for the Newly Baptized

Slow down today. Make time to pause and look (chimes can be beautiful as they move) and listen. What do you see? What do you hear? How will you respond?

A prayer

God, great and wonderful,
who hast created the heavens,
dwelling in the light and beauty thereof,
who hast made the earth,
revealing thyself in every flower that opens;
let not mine eyes be blind to thee,
neither let mine heart be dead,
but teach me to praise thee,
even as the lark which offereth her song at daybreak.

Isidore of Seville (560-636)
in Christopher Herbert, Pocket Prayers: The Classic Collection (Kindle Edition)

Video: RANphotovideo on YouTube

Wind Chimes: 9 Nov 2012

A grain of sand

renew in us an inquiring and discerning heart
and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works

Adapted from the Prayer for the Newly Baptized

The “nano world” is filled with visual delights; might the chimes make “nano sounds”? Is it possible for us to be attuned to such sounds? What do you hear?

The beautiful nano details of our world

“Nano: denoting a factor of 10 [to the minus 9th power or 0.000000001] (used commonly in units of measurement): nanosecond; denoting a very small item: nanoplankton.” from the New Oxford American Dictionary.

Yesterday a friend sent me this TED Talk. I invite you to excite your sense of “joy and wonder” in all of God’s works as you nourish an “inquiring and discerning heart.” ~dan

The beautiful nano details of our world a TED Talk by Gary Greenberg:
A link to the Gary Greenberg Talk on TED

It’s official: Justin Welby to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury

“The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Justin Welby for election as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.” Press Release from Lambeth Palace dated 9 Nov 2012

I invite your prayers for Bishop Welby as he takes on this new ministry. ~dan

A prayer for you and me

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon us the forgiveness of sin, and have raised us to the new life of grace. Sustain us, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit and renew in us an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen

A prayer adapted from the Prayer for the Newly Baptized (BCP, p. 308) and used in General Convention 2006.

Photo: An image of grains of sand from Maui; from a TED Talk by Gary Greenberg ~dan

Hildegard

Creator God, your whole creation, in all its varied and related parts, shows forth your verdant and life-giving power: Grant that we your people, illumined by the visions recorded by your servant Hildegard, may know, and make known, the joy and jubilation of being part of this cycle of creation, and may manifest your glory in all virtuous and godly living; through Jesus Christ whom you sent, and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for the Commemoration of Hildegard in Holy Women, Holy Men)

As you read the biographical note about Hildegard on Holy Women, Holy Men I draw your attention to 2 items and share a video meditation featuring Hildegard’s Spiritus Sanctus, the “second Antiphone (sic) and Psalm 110/111 from the vesper of Hildegard von Bingen.”

First, from the Collect, we hear how Hildegard clearly loved all of creation and rejoiced in its complex beauty and interrelatedness, praying that we would do the same: “Grant that we your people … may know, and make known, the joy and jubilation of being part of this cycle of creation ….”

Second, from the biographical notes, we hear how for Hildegard “music was essential to worship. Her liturgical compositions, unusual in structure and tonality, were described by contemporaries as ‘chant of surpassing sweet melody’ and ‘strange and unheard-of music.’”

Enjoy Spiritus Sanctus