Lent Course. Observing Lent through Art and Prayer.2023
Therefore,thisstoryisconsidereda majortransitionalmoment,thedisciples begintounderstandthatJesus’missionis morethantheyimagined.Whilethey couldnotforeseethecrossinJesus future,theviewersofthispaintingwould be familiar with the symbol.” Kelly Bagdanov, https://www.kellybagdanov.com/2022/08/12/rembrandts-storm-on-the-sea-of-galilee/“Beforeanyhumanbeingtouchesus, Godformsusinsecret;hetexturesus fromthedepthoftheearthandbefore anyhumanbeingdecidesaboutus,God knitsustogetherinourmothers’womb. Godlovesusbeforeanypersoncanshow lovetous.Helovesuswithafirstlove; anunlimited,unconditionallove;wants ustobehisbelovedchildrenandtellsus to become as loving as himself.”The Return of the Prodigal Son, Lent Course, Henri Nouwen
Poem2. And Jesus was a sailorWhen he walked upon the waterAnd he spent a long time watchingFrom his lonely wooden towerAnd when he knew for certainOnly drowning men could see himHe said “All men will be sailors thenUntil the sea shall free them”But he himself was brokenLong before the sky would openForsaken, almost humanHe sank beneath your wisdom like a stone[chorus]And you want to travel with himAnd you want to travel blindAnd you think maybe you’ll trust himFor he’s touched your perfect body with his mind Suzanne (1967), Leonard Cohen
“Inchoosingthismoment,beforeJesus wakesandcalmsthesea,Rembrandt, withbroad,thickbrushworkmovesus intothescene.Wetoocanfeelthewind, thefear,andtheuncertaintyasthese seasoned sailors fight for their lives. Wecanfeeltheirdreadasthenextwave breaks,andcapsizingseemsinevitable. Itisimportanttofeelthedisciples palpablefear,sothatwecanfully appreciatetheirterrorafterthestormis stilled, as they look at Jesus and wonder,“Who is this man?”…
Thechaoticseaoftenrepresentsevilwhichneedstobere-ordered,orre-created.Theseacanbeseentorepresent theworldthatRembrandtlivedin, chaotic and frightening.Asthestormrages,theviewerknows thatsoonJesuswillspeak,andcalmwill berestored.Jesuswillbringorderback to the creation.Asalwaysthough,Rembrandtiscalling ustolookdeeper.Toseehowthese physicalstrugglesrelatetothespiritual, internallivesofthemenonthisboat. Youmighthavenoticedthatthemastof theshipformsacrossdiagonallyagainst thestormysky.Atthispointinthe gospelnarrativethedisciplesbelieve theyhavefoundanewrabbi,inmoments they will witness the stilling of the
he can command the winds and the sea.
Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galileeby Rembrandt van Rijn