All this month I focused on just one painting of Rogier van der Weyden called “The Seven Sacraments Altarpiece.” I wanted to demonstrate how one painting could provide multiple perspectives and be worthy of extended meditation.
I asked several friends of mine to comment on this painting using the following as their guide:
Community—Seasons—Sacrament— Sacrifice — Cross— Christ
The Seven Sacraments– whether or not you participate in these life passages as ordained acts of worship by the church–as Christians we understand each in our own ways that the sacrifice of Christ is around us and present every day.
To reclaim the promises of Abraham…Isaac…and Moses
We are called to be followers of Christ… we become Christians.
Dedicating each part of our lives to God from beginning to end;
Covering each moment with His Banner of love.
Knowing he is present in our suffering;
Cleansing us from our sins;
Providing for us an example of how to live each day.
Inspired to rise higher, each of us sacrifices our lives for love of him.
Every phase—every year— becomes a special act of worship.
We are identified as his followers and we are unified by His spiritual bloodline.
His grace gives us hope and confidence in our future.
We do not despair…
Our purpose then is to shine the light of God’s love into the darkness.
Knowing this, we regularly come before the altar to nourish ourselves with his broken body and blood…
so that we will not grow weary or lose our way.
And so we can find meaning and comfort in theses rhythmic punctuations;
these seasons of sacraments that remind us of
Jesus’ sacrifice of love on the Cross.
Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!
Philippians 2: 5-8
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Did you know that the Flemish artist Jan van Eyck features in all seven sacraments? Details at https://catchlight.blog/seven-sacraments/