Cold Dark Night (Artful Devotion)

Flight to Egypt by Oscar Rabin
Oscar Rabin (Russian, 1928–2018), Flight into Egypt, 1977. Oil on canvas, 49 × 70 cm.

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

“A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

—Matthew 2:13–18

+++

SONG: “Cold Dark Night” by Sam Phillips, originally released on her Cold Dark Night EP (2009) and re-released on the new full-length album Cold Dark Nights (2019)

 

When was he born? When was he born?
When was he born? On a cold dark night.

The king said, “Kill every baby boy that you can find.
There’s been too much talk about a new king born,
And this throne is mine.”

When was he born? When was he born?
When was he born? On a cold dark night.

He wasn’t born to be a king. He wasn’t born to fight.
He knew this world can get so dark that when you can
You’ve got to turn on the light.

When was he born? When was he born?
When was he born? On a cold dark night.

+++

A Russian painter and activist, Oscar Rabin was one of the founders of the Soviet Nonconformist Art movement. After being stripped of his citizenship in 1978 for political dissidence, he emigrated to Paris, where he lived until his death last year at age ninety. He is the subject of the feature-length documentaries Oscar (2018) and, with his wife and fellow artist Valentina Kropivnitskaya, In Search of a Lost Paradise (2015).


This post belongs to the weekly series Artful Devotion. If you can’t view the music player in your email or RSS reader, try opening the post in your browser.

To view all the Revised Common Lectionary scripture readings for the First Sunday after Christmas Day, cycle A, click here.

One thought on “Cold Dark Night (Artful Devotion)

  1. The painting is striking. I’m also such a fan of Sam Phillips and appreciated the combination of these two elements. Thank you!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s