Sunday, May 7, 2017

John 14.1-14: Many Rooms

Note: The Acts reading for Easter 5A is the stoning of Stephen. There are paintings of that story, but they bear little resemblance to the brutality that we, sadly, see in photos of actual stonings that take place in our world. Spanish artist Pablo Camps has created an art installation to call attention to the practice and hopefully create an outcry that would stop the practice. Camps' work should disturb all who see it. It won't be published on this page, but if you are interested in seeing it, follow this link: 

The reading from John's gospel for Easter 5A (John 14:1-14) is often heard at funerals: In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. Dwelling places is sometimes translated rooms. The gist of the passage is a reminder to the disciples that even though Jesus will be leaving them on earth, he is merely going ahead to prepare a place for them. And there's lots of room, Jesus says.

Contemporary artist Louiz Kierkebjerg Nielsen has created a print titled "Many Rooms" that takes literally the idea of architecture and also shows Jesus as preparing a place for many people and welcoming them to that place. What can be read as a statue of Jesus, arms outstretched, towers above a crowded (and small in comparison to the standing figure) cityscape. The Jesus figure is made up of doors and windows, which continue the housing options offered at the base of the figure. Doors and windows are scattered throughout the background, creating a very shallow picture space.
  Louiz Kierkebjerg Nielsen. Many Rooms. 2015. Screenprint, embossed etching, paper cut.
For more information, see:
I go to prepare a place for you, Jesus told the disciples. But where I'm going...there is room for you. One day you will follow me there. On that day I'll be there to welcome you.

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