In his comment on yesterday's post Graeme wonders if "trying to imagine the invisible being made visible" might be the aim of my new tapestry. And if so maybe an empty canvas would best depict the mystery of Christology. Yes, and no. Yes in the sense that the Colossian hymn is about the pre-existent coming into existence, the Creator becoming a creature, what the poet calls 'infinity dwindled to infancy', and yes, the invisible becoming visible - which all sounds like paradox as escape route.
Therefore no, I'm not trying to make the invisible visible by an empty canvas because incarnation is revelation, and the last Word God has spoken, in the sense of ultimate, final, definitive and therefore effective in accomplishing that for which He is sent, is the person of Jesus. Thus the Colossian Christology is both mystery and revelation, glory and humility, splendour and tragedy, as the one who made all things comes into that which was called into being by Love, and in the midst of brokenness and fragmentation, reconciles all things to himself making peace by the blood of the cross.Not paradox then, but both and, both mystery and revelation.
So an empty canvas won't do, at least not for me. But neither would one in which the content was so specific and sure of itself, so settled and certain, so tidy and predictable that it becomes the mere human image of that which in unimaginable. So perhaps the canvas which does indeed hold all things together in any tapestry, nevertheless supports a content that seeks to imagine, understand and represent that which elsewhere Paul urges as impossible but imperative, "to know the love that surpasses knowledge". But Graeme's question is a cautionary reminder that all art, from the written to the painted, the sculpture to the photo, the tapestry to the woodwork, are sacraments of thought and devotion, mere finite feeling after the infinite. But when it comes to worship, the word "mere" doesn't mean insignificant, but on the contrary indicates those activities and responses which are the telling evidence that God has put eternity in human hearts.
The photo is taken 30 miles south of Fort William, another of those moments when mystery and gratitude, wonder and worship, merge into praise.