Eiffel Tower,
Painted by Robert Delaunay (1885–1941),
Painted in 1924,
Oil on canvas
© Alamy / Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri

Eiffel Tower,
Painted by Robert Delaunay (1885–1941),
Painted in 1924,
Oil on canvas
© Alamy / Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri

Gospel of 16 December 2022

John was a lamp alight and shining

John 5:33-36

Jesus said to the Jews:

‘You sent messengers to John,

and he gave his testimony to the truth:

not that I depend on human testimony;

no, it is for your salvation that I speak of this.

John was a lamp alight and shining

and for a time you were content to enjoy the light that he gave.

But my testimony is greater than John’s:

the works my Father has given me to carry out,

these same works of mine testify

that the Father has sent me.’

Reflection on the painting

Towards the end of this third week of Advent, Jesus refers so beautifully to John the Baptist as ‘a lamp alight and shining’. Jesus is referring to John as brining testimony to the truth and therefore shining the light of truth onto the world. Jesus was the truth, whilst John bore witness to the truth; Jesus was the Word, whilst John was the voice; Jesus was light, whilst John was the lamp. John was the instrument and prophet through whom Jesus shone. The person that John the Baptist was in relation to Jesus, is also who we are called to be: shining lamps that will witness to the light.

The numerous times I have visited Paris, one of the most visible lights is the one on top of the Eiffel Tower. It is just one light, which rotates, but how powerfully does it shine… to be seen from miles away. A true beacon. With the mounting energy crisis in Europe, this light will be switched off at 11:45 pm instead of 1 am and thus the Paris skyline will be getting a little darker earlier.

Robert Delaunay’s “Eiffel Tower” painted in 1924 depicts this famed Parisian landmark in a very colourful way. Completed in just over 2 years and inaugurated in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was a symbol of modern technology and human achievement in the early 20th century. The dark steel structure has been transformed in our painting into rich tones of yellow, orange, and lavender; the surrounding gardens are abstracted patterns of green and yellow. Influenced by Fauvism (an art movement that championed the use of vivid colours), Delaunay said that “everything is colour in nature.” What a lovely way to look at the world. The artist used an aerial viewpoint, probably informed by his own background as an early aviator when he was young.

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Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 year ago

Monsieur Eiffel is a French hero. Wherever large steelworks were needed he was your man! I went to a vermouth factory in the south of France (Lillet I think) where they had there own railway station for bringing in the wine and herbs. It was built by him. France has a good claim to be the greatest country in Europe, but then so does Germany, Italy, etc…….

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 year ago

A very different perspective which shows for me how limited our perspective of the world is. I think God’s perspective too, is very different to ours and sometimes I think He smiles at our lack of true perspective on anything that goes on in this world. Recently I have been asking God that I might see more with His eyes and not mine, as my vision so very limited.

Last edited 1 year ago by spaceforgrace
Anthony
Member
Anthony
1 year ago

A bright and beautiful dawn here in south west Cumbria. The light is brightening all the frost covered earth and making it sparkle. No matter how dark it gets the Light always returns.

Yvon Ribeyron
Member
Yvon Ribeyron
1 year ago

Il y’a tant de fausses lumières dans ce monde qui pourraient nous aveugler. C’est comme pour observer les étoiles dans la nuit, il faut éviter la pollution lumineuse de nos villes. C’est parfois dans ces lieux retirés qu’admirant le spectacle de la voûte céleste nous relativistons nôtre juste dimension.

Tina Shaw
Member
Tina Shaw
1 year ago

Love this, love the use of the colour.
Lifts the spirit
I have always wondered about the different ways we see colour
A different way to view a well known landmark.

Graham B.
Member
Graham B.
1 year ago

“Jesus was the Word, whilst John was the voice”…Well, what do I do with my voice? Am I stern and commanding (family trait) or am I soft, gentle, and encouraging? That is today’s puzzle for me to work out! Thank you Patrick for keeping on giving me puzzles 🙂

Anthony
Member
Anthony
1 year ago

What a lovely way to view the world indeed! Thank you Patrick I love this image. Colour has the power to lift our spirits and alter our view. The Light of the world is coming what colour He will show up for us.

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