The walls of our home are lined with kids’ artwork. They have a hard time seeing the temporal nature of some of their creations, wanting every drawing and painting to last forever. Those pieces that don’t make their way to bless a grandparent’s home often get plastered on the fridge or bedroom headboards or all over the playroom. The imaginations of children run wild and free, which can exhaust parents. It also warrants intentionality with how we tell the Christmas story and sacred images we celebrate.
This Advent, we have spent time with some contemporary icons that portray Blessed Mary beyond the Euro-centric, white Renaissance depictions of the Madonna. Aware the choice to do this is a mark of privilege, we also recognize the urgency not to allow a single hue of the Virgin Mary to be imprinted on their imaginations or our walls forever. We have noticed, as a result, our kids unassumingly talk about and naturally illustrate the nativity with greater diversity and creativity than what we did at their age.
Mary’s Magnificat proclaims she will be called forever blessed by all generations. If we believe this to be true, we would do well to diversify not only how we speak of the Christmas story, but also how we image the related people and events. If not, only one icon will be handed down to our children- and this will likely favor those in power, the very people Mary said the goodness of God would flip upside down.
Beautiful images can be found at https://sanctifiedart.org. What are some that you use as iconography in your home?