Advent 2018 #22: One for Many

I came across the above image (in full below) in a Google search.

It’s just called Australian Aboriginal Nativity Print and the website doesn’t attribute it to anyone, so unfortunately, neither can I.

It holds some similarities with Grace Kombi’s work, Three Hunters. This artwork along with heaps more Australian Aboriginal Christian art, can be found if you check out Our Mob, God’s Story.

It’s great though, whoever created the one above. I assume the three on the left of the image are the Magi. I love the fact that one of them is playing a didgeridoo.

Jesus was born a Jew. He was not an Aboriginal Australian and there was no didgeridoo when the Magi arrived (unless there are things about ancient Babylon that I am unaware of…).

However, I love the fact that this piece of artwork wordlessly demonstrates that the message of Christmas can be translated into every culture across the globe.

‘The cattle are lowing the baby awakes’ says the song, whether it’s true or not. Or turtles, ducks, goannas and echidnas, instead of cattle, if you will.

Other than quacking, I’m not sure what noises those animals make, otherwise I’d rewrite a line of Away in A Manger right now.

It’s a beautiful picture, whoever painted it, because it shows that the message of Jesus at Christmas time crosses over cultural boundaries.

Jesus doesn’t want to change your culture at Christmas time (or any season). He just wants to change your heart, to make it accord with his.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

Looking at the artwork above makes me wonder how a refugee in a detention centre would paint the nativity scene. Or someone in the Congo, or Guatemala. It also makes me wonder how I’d paint it.

I’m not advocating messing around with what the Bible says.

I’m just advocating a good news Christmas story that’s relevant to you: no matter who you are, where you’re from or how you live your life.

Yours in a paint-smock,


Image Credit: Featured image from Worthpoint

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