Reflections on Advent: A Way of Peace

As we move toward the already-and-not-yet of Advent, we celebrate Christ’s birth so long ago even as we know that Christ must be born in us again and again. Countless artists over the centuries have portrayed Advent themes and scenes; these block prints by Mary Allison Cates weave together the personal and the political with scenes of destruction and turmoil, juxtaposed with the image of a pregnant woman looking on as her child grows within her.

The quote from James Agee ties the images together: “In every child who is born, the potentiality of the human race is born again, and of each of us, our terrific responsibility toward life, and the utmost idea of God.”

According to the artist, “New life happens, even in the face of global warming, war, poverty, and interpersonal conflict. May our saving Lord Jesus Christ be born in us again this Advent season, so that we may respond to our broken world by creating a way of peace.”

Click each image to enlarge!

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11 replies
  1. Sunny
    Sunny says:

    MA- I absolutely love these. They are beautiful- and remind us of how Christ continues to come into the world bringing hope in the midst of brokenness and desperation. Well done.

  2. Viki Matson
    Viki Matson says:

    Divinity Girl:
    I absolutely LOVE these prints!! ANd your explanation is amazing. I would love to have a copy of the bulletins to put on my office door during Advent.
    Great work!

  3. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    I love, love, love these. The 3rd one with the Memphis skyline is my favorite, and I would think especially meaningful for your church. Thank you for sharing your thought-provoking, hopeful art.


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