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Swathed in Glory

Swathed in Glory

Regular price $13.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $13.99 USD
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Original available for purchase ~ $4800


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Artist Statement

The Savior’s birth was the most glorious act of condescension imaginable. The sovereign ruler of the universe came all the way down to the soil he created to be a full partaker in the experience of humanity, that we may be partakers in His divinity.

In Luke we read that the angels instructed the shepherds that “this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swatting clothes, lying in a manger.” I had always assumed swaddling clothes to be undistinguished. Perhaps Mary had nothing else so she wrapped her newborn in swaddling. The reality is quite different, and the implications are beguiling and exquisite. By the end of this description you will understand why I believe we are all symbolically and beautifully swathed together in the great common humanity of the house of Israel.

Swaddling clothes were long bands of usually linen or wool that was intricately and lovingly embroidered by the young bride with great care in anticipation of her wedding day. It hieroglyphically represented the lineage and devotion of both her and her groom. For Mary and Joseph, being descended of Judah, it may have had lions or lambs or stylized tree of life motifs. It may have been the royal and ministerial colors of blue and white. For the embroidery to be acceptable it must be exactly the same on both sides. This was a type showing that the outward life and the inner life were the same—they were never to have a wrong side to their character.

Then under the wedding canopy, these decorated bands would be tied around the clasped right hands of the bride and groom; hence the saying, ‘they tied the knot.”

This consecrated swaddling was then wrapped around the parent’s infant for special occasions.

When Mary wrapped Jesus in swaddling bands, it sent a recognizable signal to all in her culture that this baby, who has come down as a creation of God, is wanted, owned, embraced, loved and is being cared for. And is further connected to a vast family of devoted followers of the One True God, the creator of Heaven and Earth.

So you see, we are all, like the very earth mentioned in Job 38, swathed in glory. We are connected, wanted, owned and embraced in the binding covenant of Abraham, through the house of Israel, as the sons and daughters of our personal Savior, Jesus Christ.

And through the sacred ordinance of the sacrament, He reminds us that He is our deepest nourishment. He is the bread of life and the living water. No wonder then that at His very commencement into the world He was laid in a manger, an ancient and universal symbol of food and sustenance.

He came to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovery of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty them that are bruised.

Oh come oh come Emmanuel,
And random captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the son of God appear
Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel
Shall ransom captive Israel.

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