The Stump of Jesse
This image came from the Tuesday evening college communion service at St John’s and is based on the elements of the entire service including the hymns, the prayers, the scriptures (Isaiah 11:1-10, Matt 3:1-12).
I began by making a few hand sketches in the Order of service of various elements until just after the opening lines of the sermon and then I started with the figure of John the Baptist preaching to a crowd of people. Other elements then found their way into the picture and for a while it seemed very strange to me, I wondered where it was all going until towards the end of the service when it began to make sense to me.
The Key is in the title: the Stump of Jesse – the tree. It links loads of smaller images together and in a sense the tree become central to the story and well it might for good theological reasons. It connects the cross and the resurrection (which is taking place within the sealed tomb, hidden from sight waiting to be revealed). The city is made up of modern buildings, the crowd is made up of people of all ethnic groups (not sure if the range of skin tones comes through but I tried). The stream is reminiscent of the river John baptised in and it flows towards the city. The tree has fruit growing from it and it is in full leaf. There is a path that leads us into the story. Some of these things may have different resonances with you and you may see other things in the image that speak to you. What do you see? What does he image do for you? Let me know, I am curious.
If you were there you may be reminded of things you heard, saw or experienced. Let me know, I am intrested to hear.