Tag Archives: The Scorpion

Birth

I’m not entirely sure I can see this picture as giving birth, as Stephen Cottrell suggests (p64).  I see it more as Christ sitting amongst the desolation and danger, holding danger, fear and possibility – an image I find powerful in itself.

But I’m happy to go along with the birthing suggestion.  That from the desolation, the darkness, the fear can come new life.

By Carly & Art from Washington, DC (Gamboling lamboling!) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

For there has to be the possibility and hope of the wilderness – it is not the end, there is something else to come, another hope, another way, different potential.  Jesus returned from the Wilderness strengthened for his work.  Life may never be the same again.  Both the wilderness and birth change that, but there will still be life.

Jesus will go from this place to suffer.  But his suffering and scars, bring us healing.  In the depths of fear, deep in the wilderness, caught up in anger and pain, we may not feel that, but it remains a truth to cling to – sometimes all we can cling to.

In the words to The Romans:

A Wonderful Future for God’s People

18 I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us. 19 In fact, all creation is eagerly waiting for God to show who his children are. 20 Meanwhile, creation is confused, but not because it wants to be confused. God made it this way in the hope 21 that creation would be set free from decay and would share in the glorious freedom of his children. 22 We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth.

23 The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children. This means that our bodies will also be set free. 24 And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping. 25 However, we hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it.

These thoughts are reflecting on Spencer’s painting The Scorpion (seen here at the bottom of the second page).

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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Darkness

Stephen Cottrell points us to the gathering gloom behind Jesus (p63), and reminds us, God does his greatest deeds in darkness and unknowing:

Indeed, Christ’s Passion and death are an encounter the darkness of the world (p64)

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad God in Jesus knows about the darkness, has been there, experienced it – and done his work in it.  What an awesome God, that he didn’t avoid the darkness, but he has been in the depths of it.  He knows what it is like to be there.  That makes him a God who really understands life and all it throws at us.

God is not just God of the sunshine, but God of the deep darkness too.

Jesus not only knew the darkness, he brought the light that only he can bring – by being there, by sitting with it, by returning from it.

By lilivanili from London, UK (the fire within Uploaded by tm) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Christ may I know you in my darkness in my darkness. Bring me through to resurrection I pray.

These thoughts are reflecting on Spencer’s painting The Scorpion (seen here at the bottom of the second page).

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

Open Hands

Stephen Cottrell makes the point that as Jesus holds the scorpion, his hands are in the position we would hold them in communion (p62).

Jesus’ complete communion with the Father’s will, and his making possible of our communion, through him, with God.

As we hold our hands, they are open to receive from God. As we hold them out, God gives us the Bread of Life.  What will that Bread of Life look like for us?  What will it mean?  As we hold out our hands, what are we expecting God to place in them?  How will we receive what he gives?

Remember what Jesus went through, that we could receive Bread.  How he dealt with the scorpions, that we could receive life.  He did for us, that which we could never do for ourselves.

These thoughts are reflecting on Spencer’s painting The Scorpion (seen here at the bottom of the second page).

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