Thursday, 13 March 2014

Lent Meditations: 1. Glimpses of Jesus in St John's Gospel

This year we have a wonderful gift, 
with all the Sunday Readings during Lent from St John’s Gospel.

Reading St John’s Gospel again, right the way through in a few days was a real eye-opener.

 I had difficulty at first as I kept wanting to look something up / delve into a commentary, but resisting the temptation and just allowing the writer to tell his story made me notice all sorts of things I had forgotten or just missed out on before. I think you need to find out by reading it through for yourself !

WEEK 1:  A few Glimpses of Jesus in St John’s Gospel

John 20 v 1-8     The defining moment for the author : v 8 “He saw & he believed “

Now & then you discover a painting where the artist really speaks to you. With this one, by Henry Tanner,
 it slowly dawned on me how well the artist encapsulated Peter’s character revealed in John’s Gospel...of his running straight into the tomb & then feeling stunned & unsure of himself, while the brilliant light on the other disciple reveals how deeply he begins to see ...

 I am also reminded of how sensitive this other disciple is in writing his last two chapters...and the picture he gives us of the Risen Christ who respects each individual’s needs, revealing himself in different ways to each one. Surely an Easter meditation on these would be very moving

Two paintings people really enjoyed were by the Indian artist, Jyoti Sahi, who began an art ashram where artists may meditate and paint.

Both paintings are very meditative, and the more you look at them, the more you see,
rather like St John's Gospel

The glimpse of Jesus bending down & writing in the dust, defusing the antagonism of the angry mob with the adulterous woman was painted by a French artist in collaboration with the Mafa people in the Cameroon who acted out the scenes that were to be painted.
 Over the past few years a great variety of New Testament scenes have been painted in an African setting, and are available to be purchased as prints & cards. 
click on this link:

If you would like some very readable background on St John's Gospel, try this slim paperback:

Another look at St John’s Gospel : Ivan Clutterbuck
[ Publ: 2007  Gracewing  ISBN 978-0-85244-496-2 ]

“This is a small book for a large subject. However, I hope to tempt those who do not have very much time for reading to take another look at St John’s Gospel.” (from the Introduction )

 This paperback is just what it says; and gives a quick overview of theories on date & authorship together with other interesting background eg on fishing / fish merchants on the Sea of Galilee.

Next Wednesday : 7 pm  Nicodemus  John ch 3

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Glimpses of Jesus in St John's Gospel : 6 Visual Meditations : March 12th - April 16th 2014


            Wednesdays 7 pm  @ St James Church, Brightlingsea

                                with paintings of Christ by artists around the world

                                             to aid reflection and lead into silence

for venue details click this link :

week 1:  Glimpses of Christ in John's Gospel  : 12th March

This picture is from the frontispiece of a 13th Century MSS

I wonder, is this meant to represent God measuring out & creating the world,
or was it inspired by the beginning of St John's Gospel ?