Lent Course. Observing Lent through Art and Prayer.2023
Therefore, this story is considered a major transitional moment, the disciples begin to understand that Jesus’ mission is more than they imagined. While they could not foresee the cross in Jesus future, the viewers of this painting would be familiar with the symbol.” Kelly Bagdanov, https://www.kellybagdanov.com/2022/0 8/12/rembrandts-storm-on-the-sea-of- galilee/ “Before any human being touches us, God forms us in secret; he textures us from the depth of the earth and before any human being decides about us, God knits us together in our mothers’ womb. God loves us before any person can show love to us. He loves us with a first love; an unlimited, unconditional love; wants us to be his beloved children and tells us to become as loving as himself.” The Return of the Prodigal Son, Lent Course, Henri Nouwen
Poem 2. And Jesus was a sailor When he walked upon the water And he spent a long time watching From his lonely wooden tower And when he knew for certain Only drowning men could see him He said “All men will be sailors then Until the sea shall free them” But he himself was broken Long before the sky would open Forsaken, almost human He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone [chorus] And you want to travel with him And you want to travel blind And you think maybe you’ll trust him For he’s touched your perfect body with his mind Suzanne (1967), Leonard Cohen
“In choosing this moment, before Jesus wakes and calms the sea, Rembrandt, with broad, thick brushwork moves us into the scene. We too can feel the wind, the fear, and the uncertainty as these seasoned sailors fight for their lives. We can feel their dread as the next wave breaks, and capsizing seems inevitable. It is important to feel the disciples palpable fear, so that we can fully appreciate their terror after the storm is stilled, as they look at Jesus and wonder, “Who is this man?”…
The chaotic sea often represents evil which needs to be re-ordered, or re- created. The sea can be seen to represent the world that Rembrandt lived in, chaotic and frightening. As the storm rages, the viewer knows that soon Jesus will speak, and calm will be restored. Jesus will bring order back to the creation. As always though, Rembrandt is calling us to look deeper. To see how these physical struggles relate to the spiritual, internal lives of the men on this boat. You might have noticed that the mast of the ship forms a cross diagonally against the stormy sky. At this point in the gospel narrative the disciples believe they have found a new rabbi, in moments they will witness the stilling of the
he can command the winds and the sea.
Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt van Rijn