Artist: John Collier
Interpreter: Mona Bagasao-Cave
Kairos — spirit time — differs from chronological time, which moves in a straight line from beginning to end. Kairos weaves and undulates, captures bits of before and later, and mixes them with now. We experience kairos each Advent season as we wait for the birth of Jesus, who has already been born, while at the same time we await his coming again.
John Collier’s Annunciation perfectly captures kairos. Can you see time upon time? The building in the background seems to be a simple suburban tract home, not seen until the mid-20th century. The pilasters, common in the Renaissance, on the foreground building are not so common in modern architecture. Mary’s style is contemporary, down to the saddle-oxford shoes and ponytail. Gabriel’s garb resembles a Byzantine garment. But a close look suggests a multi-colored fabric popular in the mid-1960s — tie-dye. The lily, a symbol of purity in early Christian art, is prominent in the image.
I am intrigued by this convergence of periods because it speaks of a truth I often consider during Advent. There is no time like now for God. The God of past and future bestows the great gift of love on me now. God expects my love and service to others now. Mary responded to God’s message in her now, and 2,000 years later we wait each year for her extraordinary service — the birth of Jesus. Consider this: What is God giving to us — and asking from us — now?
Come back each day to read the daily Upper Room: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
TIPS FOR YOUR DAILY DEVOTIONS:
Before you begin: Sit quietly for 30 seconds or so to settle your spirit. Take a few deep breaths and get comfortable.
Read: Open your Bible and read the portion of scripture suggested beside the date. After you read, pause to think about the passage. What comes to mind? What in it got your attention?
Quoted Verse: The quoted verse relates to the central point of the day's meditation. Read it slowly and think about its meaning for you. Once or twice a week you might memorize a quoted verse.
"Story": These meditations are written by people from around the world. After you read the main part of the page, ask yourself, "How do this person's words connect with my life?"
Prayer: To end your quiet time, pray the prayer at the bottom of the page. You may want to add to it, mentioning people or situations that come to mind during your reflection.
Thought for the Day: This element invites you to respond or sums up an idea from the day's reading. Repeat the thought a few times and recall it through-
out the day to remind yourself of what you heard from God.
Link2Life: This suggests ways to connect your life of prayer with your life in the world. L2L may suggest Web sites to visit; however, we do not endorse any site. Readers should use their own judgment about acting on information they may find.
Prayer Focus: This suggests a subject for continuing prayer after your devotional time, joining with believers around the world in doing so.
To start a meeting: Online is a list of current meditations by subject and dir-
ections for using them to begin meetings at: devotional.upperroom.org/resources/