God said to His beloved Son:
It’s time to have compassion.
Then go bright jewel of My crown,
And bring to all salvation.
From sin and sorrow set them free;
Slay bitter death for them that they
May live with You forever.
Copyright © Edward Riojas
This illustration, created for “Dear Christians, One And All Rejoice” (Kloria Publishing), was the most difficult to conceptualize. I wanted to stay true to Martin Luther’s hymn text, but visualizing those words eventually went down and unusual path.
The stanza begins with a conversation between Persons of the Holy Trinity, to which we are oddly privy.
This divine dialogue shows up in Holy Scripture. Genesis 1:26a, declares, “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Again in Genesis 11:6-7, regarding the tower of Babel, “And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” The words “us” and “our” are significant.
Visualizing the “jewel” in Luther’s stanza teetered between brilliance and heresy. Admittedly, it is impossible for mortals to fully understand the mystery of the Holy Incarnation, and it is lunacy to claim as much. It is with that lack of full understanding that I dared to show the preincarnate Christ as a tiny fetus while still descending from heaven. However, I stand behind the truth that, as a seemingly insignificant Being, the Son’s preeminence was – and still is – blindingly significant and brilliant. He is, indeed, the bright jewel of the Father’s crown.
While reminiscent of a cross-topped crown, the gold ornamentation around the fetal Christ is actually formed in a tri-radiant nimbus, confessing that Christ Jesus is a Person of the Holy Trinity. In Honor of Him, the angels dare not even look on His countenance. And in a preemptive, divine action against those who futilely strive toward the perfection of heaven, The Father's Hand of blessing brings down to us His greatest Blessing – The Son.
Giclée prints of “Dear Christians: Procession,” are available for purchase in two formats. To order or for more information, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
30” x 19” / $140
24” x 15.2” / $110
16” x 10.1” / $75
18.8” x 24” / $120
12.5” x 16” / $75
“Dear Christians, One And All Rejoice,” (Kloria Publishing) is available through Concordia Publishing House and Amazon.com