John the Baptist. Leonardo da Vinci, 1513-1516
As this season of Advent continues to unfold, we hear again the call to ‘prepare’ … this Sunday from John the Baptizer. And this painting by da Vinci offered me a whole new perspective upon the preaching of this prophet and the fullness of the gospel known in Jesus Christ.
Emerging from darkness, John is bathed in a soft and inviting light. There is a warmth and beauty and even playfulness known. There is a ‘pointing’ to new dimensions of the holy – one hand conventionally directing us ‘up’ to ‘heaven’, but another hand holding a staff that is crowned with a symbol of the Holy One come among us in Jesus the Christ. That cross is faint but sure, waiting with assurance and strength for all who truly seek. The ‘pointing’ of John in this painting by da Vinci is all the more moving when I realized this was probably the artist’s last work.
As we hear the Advent call to ‘prepare’, certain questions arise. Do I point to Christ with a warmth that attracts? Do I embody the beauty of the gospel?
We invite you to join us in Christian worship either in the sanctuary (following COVID protocols of safe distancing, mask wearing and refraining from singing) or by live-stream at https://youtu.be/8-wc9SCa-0w. Organ preludes will begin around 10:25 a.m. and the service will commence at 10:30 a.m. Previous services can be found on the St. Andrew’s Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/StAndrewsPresbyterianChurchKingston
Have a look at the Order of Service below, along with announcements and invitations to grow in Christian worship, community and service. You will also find the words to the hymns, which might offer words for meditation through the week ahead.