Advent Art (2) – New Creations

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In the New Testament, Jesus is sometimes described as “a second Adam”, and Christians as “a new creation”.

In the Creation stories of Genesis, something profound is being said. The figure of Adam is “a type of the one to come”. God is Creator, intimately related to all of Creation.

In the beginning was the relationship” writes Richard Rohr, and Jesus will talk about his relationship to his fatherly God. God gives an “original blessing” to all of Creation, which in turn is passed on to all created things. Human beings should “go forth and multiply” fruitfully and abundantly. Jesus comes “full of grace and truth” and brings abundant blessings; his grace is greater than the tragedy of the fall of Adam and Eve.

Man and woman lose paradise in the Genesis account. But in Christ, there is forgiveness and restoration. “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”

In the detail below of a larger painting by Bosch, man and woman seem very vulnerable in their nakedness. They are surrounded by a world that is heavenly (notice the teeming angels, almost like an insect swarm, at the top!) but also one that has dangers (notice the half-human, half-snake of Satan in the middle). It is a story of blessing and of loss.

Above it all, at the very top, is God, surrounded by golden light. God will bring light out of darkness, and surpassing the pale bodies of Adam and Eve which will taste death, the light of Christ’s life and resurrection will shine on.

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