The Gospel of John starts with this “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”
The Greek for ‘ word’ is ‘Logos'( Λόγος)
For John , Jesus is God in self-revelation (Light) and redemption (Life). He is God to the extent that he can be present to man and knowable to man. The Word, The Logos is God.
“How then is Jesus God’s light to our world? It is because of His compassion and acceptance of all kinds of people in the gospels since He believed compassion was God’s defining characteristic towards humanity. Why should anyone object to that? It was because the religious authorities of His time regarded God’s chief characteristic as holiness, based on the Book of Leviticus, which said people should reflect God’s holiness, and so it was their task to protect that holiness. However, Jesus turned this system on its head by being with all those regarded as impure and unclean – lepers and haemorrhaging women, tax collectors and sinners. He ate with all kinds of people, women included, where sharing a meal was regarded as a sign of acceptance and welcome.” (Sam Wells)
“Jesus is the light of the world” not for us to pray a prayer and “believe in him “. He is a light in that if you are looking to be closer to the divine light, don’t go looking in heaven, look around you, the land, the lily and sparrow, amongst yourselves, in the faces of the oppressed, the weak, the Poor, your brother, sister, friend and stranger. It is there where Gods presence is. When we are in communion. When we are present. This is the light we have a chance to reflect.
This December I will have been painting icons for a decade. It all started with my first icon, “Christ: Consider the Lilies” while I lived with the Common Friars in Athens, Ohio.
Starting December 1st the website will now include a bi-weekly blog featuring new icons, quotes of the week, and reflections and work by dear friends: fellow artists, activists, farmers, musicians, theologians, priests and community organizers.
After a flurry of requests around this time the last few years, I’m excited to finally offer this ‘Kelly Latimore Icons’ 2020 Calendar!
It is 12x18in. and includes Icons of ‘Refugees: La Sagrada Familia’ Martin Luther King Jr., Saint Francis, The Trinity, Thomas Merton, The Good Shepherd, Jean Vanier, and more… $35, Limited to 200, we will be taking orders until 12 midnight Dec. 1st.
Named after an anonymous work of Christian Mysticism written in the 14th century. The book counsels a young student to not seek God through knowledge and intellection but through contemplation motivated by love and experience. By admitting God is shrouded in mystery and putting all thought under a “cloud of forgetting” the closer we will be to God through the heart.
That is not to say that we are not filled with the potential of knowledge but knowledge will only get us so far to being present.
It is about having inner silence about our convictions, our various movements, our inherited traditions, our favorite ideas which opens us up to the patterns of work, knowledge and experience we would not have seen in the other or ourselves.
The cloud of unknowing Icon started as an Icon of Christ the Pantocrator. The Icon was finished but I was not happy with how it turned out and put it on a shelf. After Finding the icon 2 years later I decided to Gold leaf over it to use for another Icon only to discover that Christ’s face was still faintly visible through it yet from a distance simply looked like a plain gold-leafed board.
Putting it on exhibit last year I enjoyed standing back and watching people pass it by again and again and then watching the few people who, seeing it from a distance, were curious and looked closer.
I will admit that I do not always know what I am looking at in the personhood of Jesus, or in considering God, and the Holy-Spirit. I will admit I sometimes do not know what I am looking at when looking at myself. Yet, this is the mystery at the heart of being an artist. By letting our work go it can become something we would never have thought of.
I am grateful for the friendship and thoughts of Jane Gerdsen and Karl Stevens in the naming of this Icon.
“Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit…Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving”