Lent, Day 7

Today’s two featured artists draw on the mythology of the phoenix, a fantastical bird that dies in flames but then is born again out of its own ashes. (An alternate legend, not as popular, says the phoenix dies and decomposes but then rises out of its rot.) In Christianity the phoenix became a symbol of resurrection—Jesus’s, and our own. The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians from the late first century CE is the first Christian writing to make this connection. And the phoenix points to not only the reconstitution of our bodies after death but also the spiritual regeneration we undergo in this life. Out of the ashes of our sin, the death of the old self, the new self rises with Christ.

Apart from (but not opposed to) this theological framework, the phoenix can be seen as a symbol of resilience through trials, of withstanding the forces of destruction, and it seems that’s the sense that life coach and creative Yolonda Coles Jones [previously] is after in her song. The chorus is a mantra that anyone, regardless of faith tradition, can make their own: “Rise from the ashes.”

LOOK: Nathan Florence (American, 1972–), Winging Phoenix, 2010. Oil on printed cotton, 20 × 20 in.

Florence, Nathan_Winging Phoenix

LISTEN: “Phoenix Bird” by Yolonda Coles Jones, 2019

Amazed at what I’m able to do
Lookin’ back on all I’ve been through
Survived unimaginable things, yeah
Phoenix bird claps her wings

Rise from the ashes (×4)

Spread your wings and fly
Phoenix bird, rise

Note to reader: I’m not able to sustain daily posts for the duration of Lent (I’m a one-woman show here!), so there won’t be a “Lent, Day 8,” etc., but I will continue to provide regular content throughout the season. In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying the Lent Playlist I put together.

7 thoughts on “Lent, Day 7

  1. Hugely appreciating your blogs here and the range and depth you bring. Thank you so much. Please take your time and just do what you can as/when as there is so much depth to ponder here and in your playlist.

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  2. I am indeed loving your Spotify lent playlist, and am so nourished by the art and poetry and music and wisdom you share with us. No need for daily; I will receive it as it comes. Thank you!

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  3. Your depth of knowledge and exquisite curation is only surpassed by your generous spirit and grace. Thank you. Stay on the path at a sustainable pace and immerse yourself in the beauty, awe and wonder of the created and creative world.

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  4. I’ve been enjoying your posts. Maybe you can be like the English artist who was your focus earlier and add to your creation every Lent.

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