Crown Of Thorns
Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
As our nightly routine, Heather or myself will take Bo Diddley on a short walk right before bedtime. This is usually my time to catch up on social media and check the news/weather while Bo gets in his last sniffs for the day. During one of our recent walks I read a notification, “Tonight, a few planets will be brighter than usual in the sky. Some visible to the naked eye.” As I walked around I lifted my head to survey the night sky above. It was indeed unusually bright with stars. Admiring the vastness and beauty up above I stood amazed at the Creator of both Heaven and earth. Beautiful and incomprehensible at the same time. I decided to have a little fun and began picking out the different planets.; Jupiter, Saturn, then Venus. Next, I picked out the Big Dipper and then the Little Dipper. At the end of the Little Dipper I noticed the brightest star in the sky. The North Star. It brought to my memory a day when people would use the stars and planets to guide them during their travels. Particularly seafarers - they would use the North Star to find true North and keep them on a true course.
The news, a video, a movie, an article, a podcast - watch, listen, or read anything that has commentary regarding the present state of our future and it becomes evident we as a majority people have a lot of varied directions.
As I write this reflection, it is just before dawn. I am sitting in a comfy chair with a blanket and a cup of warm coffee. As the sun rises to a new day I am looking forward to admiring the local egrets that fly over the hazy waters of the lake in our cousins back yard.
It’s still dark outside. As a guest in someone’s home we couldn’t figure out how to turn on the sunroom lights. We tried every switch. After a few minutes of no success I decided to text Bill at work. Before I sat back down in my comfy spot the lights faded ON. Technology. I continued to watch the sunrise turn from a slight darkness to hues of vermillion which eventually turn to pale blue. I can now see clearly the egret soaring over the water. There was no need for me to text our Father in heaven above. He faded the lights on with such beauty and awesome splendor just like He has faithfully done every day since the first day.
Romans 1:20 says, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”
When God’s people take the time to wake up to sit in the splendor of the Lord as He rises the sun or lift our heads at night and give thanks for His grace and mercy, our True North comes into focus.
We will forever have a constant buzz around us. This is nothing new. We live in a time of scattered directions and a humanity that is void of God yet prides one self on their own ways. The apostle Paul knew this because it was happening in Corinth. The Corinthian church was a city that was full of philosophy and wicked ways. The people were full of their own ways, directionless, and divided.
Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth. He didn’t write to them with convincing words of wisdom of man. Instead, they were words based on God’s power through the Holy Spirit. He shared the miraculous story of Jesus. The death and resurrection foretold and placed before us in His time. Paul shares the true compass of Gods glory in the Crown of thorns. A story that strips us all bare because when we humble ourselves before God we should realize what great grace and mercy we have been given as a gift. So he writes these words…
“When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith would not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”
1 Corinthians 2
The One True North, the compass that will forever lead us in the right direction is God’s design from the creation to the culmination of Christ. Christ in us. May He rise in our hearts today.
I painted this sea star called a crow-of-thorns starfish. It receives its name from the venomous thorn-like spines that cover its upper surface, resembling the Biblical crown of thorns. It is one of the largest starfish in the world.
- Glenn Lamp