Alleluia, Christ is risen!
Easter however is not just one day, indeed my training Rector used to say each and every day should be as Easter Day, however for the purposes of this post it is in relation to the Christian year I am referring. Easter Day is today but the season of Easter goes on towards the Ascension 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection and beyond with the celebration culminating on Pentecost Sunday 50 days from now.
Since the turn of the year I have been working on a little project which I have been mulling over for a while. Actually I shouldn’t call it little for it turned into a far bigger project than I had initially imagined. The seed was sown at the early discussions last year with regard to the Holy Week project I posted about last week. In a moment of either madness or inspiration, depending on your view – my view on it has changed almost daily, I decided that I would paint 50 small pictures (2.5 x 3.5 inches) one for each of Easters’ 50 days. At some point I plan to get these pictures mounted into one work called ‘Unremitting Joy’. At this point I should say, especially for anyone new to this blog, that I am not an artist merely someone who has recently found some joy out of painting. I have always enjoyed looking at art but was put off trying to paint by an art teacher many years ago who told me I was to bring a book to read during the art lessons as I was just wasting her time.
Over the next 50 days, beginning today, I am going to post one of those small pictures daily with the last individual picture being posted on Pentecost Sunday.
We do not have a blow by blow Biblical account of what happened during these 50 days, just glimpses of particular events so some pictures get their inspiration from broader Easter themes rather than particular Biblical words, several of them from phrases contained the SEC Eucharistic Prayer for Easter. This lack of a 50 day time line also means that despite today being Easter Day throughout the season I will be posting pictures which hark back to the events of this particular day. I have chosen not to shy away from the conflicting Gospel accounts so for example while John’s Easter account has Mary Magdalene going alone to the tomb while it was still dark, Mark tells us that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome with their spices arrived at the tomb when the sun had risen. I will be exploring those themes later this week.
Make of the pictures what you will, indeed if you would rather go and read a book please do so, the pieces vary in style with some being more literal than others. I will try and give a little account of what inspired each piece, sometimes that might just be a Biblical verse, sometimes is will be more. Most pieces have a little thought attached to them which you might wish to ponder.
So where to begin? Well I decided that I would start with picture with an abstract influence whose inspiration came from words contained in our Easter Eucharistic Prayer which made me gasp the first time I heard them.
‘Glory broke from the tomb’
Easter Eucharistic Prayer from the Scottish Liturgy 1982
From that day to this they have spoken to me of something that can not be stopped, God’s glory will break through everything even our greatest fears, our darkest nights, our deepest anxieties. What is more it will break through not with a whimper or an apology but with power and awe. It will break through at the most unexpected moments and like a champagne cork popping it just can’t help but make you turn and rejoice in the Good News.