10. Nativity with Candles

Tanja Butler (1955- )
Oil on canvas
10 x 12

The light that illumines all people has entered the world and brightens the faces of the figures gathered
around the Christ Child. One kneeling figure holds three candles, acknowledging the child’s position
in the Trinity. This intimate relatedness has now been extended to include all humanity. The ladder in
the corner is reminiscent of Jacob’s dream, but it also suggests a connection between heaven and earth,
which has been accomplished in the Incarnation. The ladder also is a motif associated with Christ's

Luke 2: 15-20
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to
Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried
off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen
him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard
it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered
them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they
had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

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