Advent literally means “coming.” Beginning four Sundays before Christmas, the season of Advent moves us toward Bethlehem as we anticipate the coming of Jesus. We remember the prophets who pointed the way. We journey along with Mary and Joseph, shepherds and sheep, angels and wise ones hoping to find the baby, who is the sign of God with us.
During Advent we have the practice of lighting the Advent wreath. We light the candles to remember that Jesus’ light is born into the world and is all around us. Each Sunday, we light a candle. December 1st we light the candle of HOPE. We hope that Jesus’ light will come again and again into our world.
ART is a way for us to engage with ourselves and each other, so we are presenting various media of art to mark ADVENT.
Hope: The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
I don’t know anything with certainty, but seeing the stars makes me dream.” – By Vincent van Gogh
The Starry Night is oil on canvas and possibly the most famous work of art by the Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. Painted in June 1889, it depicts the view from the east-facing window of his asylum room at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, just before sunrise, with the addition of an idealized village.
Analysts of “Starry Night” emphasize the symbolism of the stylized cypress tree in the foreground, linking it to death and Van Gogh’s eventual suicide. However, the cypress also represents immortality. In the painting, the tree reaches into the sky, serving as a direct connection between the earth and the heavens. The artist may have been making more of a hopeful statement than many credit him with. This positive interpretation of the cypress symbolism hearkens back to a letter to his brother in which the artist likened death to a train that travels to the stars.
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