The Nativity

I came a cross this on FaceBook about this artist Jenedy Paige painting of the nativity. As I read about her research, it gave me a whole new look into the birth of our savior.

Jesus in manger by Jenedy Paige

Read about her journey to the naivety:

“A few years ago, I began to feel that I should attempt a Nativity painting. This of course was a very daunting idea, but I figured the best place to start was with research. I began with Luke 2:7,

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

I also came upon an article of archeologist, Jeffrey R. Chadwick, and found it eye opening and inspiring. Jeffrey R. Chadwick has worked in Israel as a researcher and field archaeologist for over thirty years, specializing in the backgrounds of biblical narratives. He suggested that the manger would have most likely been carved out of white limestone, one of the most abundant natural resources in the Israelite region, and showed pictures of many similar mangers they have uncovered on archaeological digs. And while we like to think of the baby, “asleep on the hay”, he also states that this was also unlikely, as grass was available on the hills surrounding Judea year round. They really would have had no need to store hay, and the mangers were most likely used for water.

I also learned that while we often think of “swaddling bands” as scraps of fabric, showing the poverty of Mary and Joseph, they were actually a big part of Israelite culture. When a young woman was betrothed she immediately began embroidering swaddling bands, which were 5-6” wide strips of linen that would be embroidered with symbols of the ancestry of the bride and groom. Thus the bands symbolized the coming together of the two families as one. They also symbolized the integrity of the woman, as she strove to make both sides of the embroidery match exactly, symbolizing to her soon to be husband that she was as good on the inside as she was on the outside. These bands were then wrapped around the hands of the couple at the wedding ceremony. So the bands the Savior was swaddled in may have included the lion of Judah and the stem of Jesse.

As I wrapped my head around these rather mind altering ideas, I realized that many of the concepts that we have of the Savior’s birth revolve around paintings of European artists from centuries ago. I’m sure they painted according to the best of their abilities and knowledge, but I also wondered why more modern painters had yet to illustrate these concepts. I felt up to the task and began sketching right away. I picked up limestone from a stone yard, I bought linen from the fabric store, and just in time one of my good friends had a baby boy, and oddly enough, his name was Luke. I put all these components together and created this painting.

As I’ve sketched and worked, my heart has been so full as I’ve uncovered this image. For when you take away the Hollywood drama, the traditions of centuries, and the wood and the hay, all you’re really left with is a babe in white linen on white stone. And my mind immediately went to the purpose of the Savior’s life: He was born to die. He came as the sacrificial lamb for all mankind; so how fitting that He would begin his life on a stone altar of sorts, and be wrapped in white linen, like he would after His death. And of course He would be placed in a trough for water, for He would be Living Water, and would bring life to all. I also found myself weeping for the Father, and how it must have felt to see His Son begin life foreshadowing His death. My heart was so full of gratitude that He would send His Only Begotten to be the Savior for us all. That He would send His Son, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, to die so that we all might live. What good news, what comfort and joy, what a gift was given to us all. O come, let us adore Him.”



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Experiencing God

To God be the Glory….. (Eph 3:21 (KJV))

Ephesians 3:14-19 (KJV): “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”


When we experience the love of Christ for our family (Eph 3:14-19 (KJV))

Ephesians 3:14-19 in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible expresses a prayer by the apostle Paul for the Ephesian believers. This passage focuses on the idea of comprehending and experiencing the love of Christ, but it does not specifically mention family.

While the passage doesn’t explicitly mention family, it emphasizes the importance of believers being rooted and grounded in love and having the ability to comprehend the love of Christ. This understanding and experience of Christ’s love can have a profound impact on how individuals relate to and love their family members. When one truly comprehends the depth of Christ’s love, it often inspires a greater capacity for love, compassion, and forgiveness in one’s relationships with family, as well as with others. The love of Christ can serve as a model and a source of strength for loving and caring for one’s family.

When we experience the power of God over our family.

the Bible doesn’t specifically address the idea of experiencing the power of God over one’s family. Instead, this passage focuses on comprehending and experiencing the love of Christ and being filled with the fullness of God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

While this passage doesn’t directly address the power of God over one’s family, it does highlight the idea of being strengthened by the Holy Spirit and having Christ dwell in one’s heart. The transformative work of God’s power and the love of Christ can certainly impact how a person relates to and cares for their family. The love and strength provided by God’s presence in one’s life can inspire positive changes in family relationships and interactions. It is through understanding and experiencing God’s love and power that one may find guidance and strength in their family life.

When we experience the unity of our family and Christ.

Ephesians 3:14-19 in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible doesn’t directly address the concept of experiencing unity between one’s family and Christ. Instead, this passage primarily focuses on understanding and experiencing the love of Christ and being filled with the fullness of God.

While this passage doesn’t explicitly mention unity between family and Christ, it does emphasize the importance of being rooted and grounded in love and comprehending the love of Christ. A deeper understanding and experience of Christ’s love can certainly impact how a family interacts and relates to one another, promoting unity, love, and harmony. When family members individually experience the love of Christ, it can contribute to a sense of unity and shared faith within the family. However, the passage itself does not specifically address this concept of family unity in relation to Christ.

Conclusion:

Ephesians 3:14-19 in the King James Version (KJV) is a significant passage in the Bible that emphasizes the importance of comprehending and experiencing the love of Christ and being filled with the fullness of God through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. While it doesn’t explicitly address family unity or the power of God over one’s family, it highlights the following key points:

  1. Prayer and Reverence: The passage begins with the apostle Paul bowing his knees before the Father and acknowledging the name of Christ, demonstrating the importance of prayer and reverence in the Christian life.
  2. Strength through the Spirit: It emphasizes the need for believers to be strengthened with might by the Holy Spirit in the inner man, highlighting the role of the Spirit in providing spiritual strength and empowerment.
  3. Christ’s Indwelling: The passage emphasizes the importance of Christ dwelling in the hearts of believers through faith, indicating the personal relationship and transformative work of Christ within individuals.
  4. Rooted in Love: Believers are encouraged to be rooted and grounded in love, which is central to their faith and relationship with God.
  5. Comprehending Christ’s Love: The passage encourages believers to comprehend the vast dimensions of Christ’s love, which goes beyond human understanding.
  6. Being Filled with God’s Fullness: The ultimate goal is for believers to be filled with the fullness of God, signifying a deep and abiding relationship with God.

In conclusion, Ephesians 3:14-19 underscores the importance of faith, prayer, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and experiencing the love of Christ. While it doesn’t specifically address family dynamics or unity, the principles outlined in this passage can certainly have a positive impact on how individuals relate to and interact with their families and others in a loving and spiritually grounded manner.


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