The Power of Love

The painting may not be to everyone’s taste, but, it makes us think. This may not be your idea of what Jesus looked like, or even how the wilderness in which he spent those 40 days looked like, but it meant something to the artist, Stanley Spencer (1892-1959), which he tried to put onto the canvas.

Originally he wanted to paint 40 canvases, one for each day of lent, I think he only managed 8, and all of these are now housed at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. The Art Gallery of Western Australia

‘God hates nothing’ he has made, however much we may wish to say the same of ourselves, we cannot truthfully do so… Compare the look of compassion of Jesus in the painting with our reaction, we would possibly feel that a scorpion shouldn’t get that close, and if one did, well, “The only good scorpion is a deaf scorpion”

As I was marked with the sign of the cross, made from the ashes of last years palm crosses, along with all others present, including the officiating priest, I was asked to remember,”That I am dust, and that to dust I shall return). This is true. It is also true, that however I may aspire to it. ‘I don’t love God, as he should be loved, I don’t love my neighbour as myself. (Deuteronomy 6:4 and Matthew 22: 37-39). This is why the season of Lent is so important, we learn to see things as they are – we learn that the Love of God is so much broader than the limits of our mind, instead of treating us as scorpions, serpents, He loved us and sent his son to die for us while we were still his enemies … Yes human beings can have scorpion stings, yes, we can have snake venom, everything in this painting is rounded isn’t it? So should our love be, and between all living creatures, material things and God there should be compassion and love. In days when Rain Forests come crashing down, when land is over farmed, when animals are reared in cruelty for the sake of profit, when humanity has advanced to the point of being able to dispose of all of us at the touch of a button, and no one has time for God … the wilderness and Lent cry out to us … Come and learn from me before you return to dust, we may be astonished to find that streams of living water have been lovingly placed there, in advance of our coming to sustain, refresh, and renew us in Love.


9 thoughts on “The Power of Love

  1. Wow. I love this painting, such a beautiful representation, wow.
    Thank you for this. Our church (bunch of raving penties that we are) don’t celebrate (is acknowledge a better word?) Lent, and at times I think we lose something in that. This post spoke to me deeply, thank you.

  2. Megan, thank you for your visit and comment. I am quite at home among panties and dare I say loved, I wouldn’t use the word raving to describe you either at the ‘breaking of the bread’ you can hear a pin drop, in the little fellowships I have attended.everyone is warm, welcoming, and to my mind, just joyful in The Lord! Many blessings.

  3. Love this post and the painting. It depicts more the Savior of God’s Word, Isaiah 53:2. If i were to hang a painting of Christ, it would have to be this one. It would draw attention and questions because it is so unlike what we have imagined in our Hollywood dreams.

    1. Yes, I agree, when I look at the Christ in this one, I think he does look Jewish. I believe Golders Green in London may be the place where the artist found his ‘model’ Thank you for your visit and comment which I think provides me with more food for thought.

  4. Thanks for sharing this picture. I do not believe I have ever seen it before. Wonderful truths can be had through it. How wonderful it is that we are His physical and spiritual creation… all made for His glory! Lord bless you.

  5. i love the painting! it’s very unconventional- the pose, colouring, subjects, and it’s composition as a whole. as a Christian and a striving artist, it speaks volumes to me. thank you for taking the time to write this beautiful post. (:

    1. Thank you for your encouragement. I think this artist had a very simple hearted approach to his work, and he was indeed a simple Christian, not caring much for the fame which he did attract, and struggling bravely with many of this life’s issues. I love my watercolours, finding time just to brush on colour is a delight. Many blessings.

  6. Had a good Lent season here, and a wonderful Easter Sunday. Love the painting and i think it opens up the range of possibility in our understanding of Christ and His mission. As the world comes new in Spring, are reminded that love and well-being can be something new, too.

    1. Pleased to hear that you had a good Easter E. There is a depth, in your verses which reveals you have a great sympathy and compassionate understanding of what God is about in the world. Glad you stopped by.🐣

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