My young granddaughters and I made this painting project together last week. As I laid out cardboard under a blank canvas and handed out a tube of paint and paintbrushes, 6-year-old Jordann said she didn’t want black, that she likes different colors. I explained our first step was to paint the white canvas completely black.  As I spoke, I was reminded of the words of an artist who painted many sunlit landscapes and night scenes where light shone from windows. He said that he must paint the darkness first in order for light to glow in the way that made him famous.

So they painted all black and waited as paint dried. Later I painted words and added tiny lights.  Everyone loves this simple illustration of a favorite Christmas song.  I love, too, that it illustrates hope – the coming of light to darkness, the very image of Advent.

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.”   Isaiah 9:2

” …this is indeed a season of lights shining in darkness- candles in windows, colored lights on nighttime trees, a lantern glow in a stable, a star shining high in the heavens. Help me follow the light of these images to the unquenchable ligt of Your real presence.”   ~ in Christ the Light of the World by Thomas Kinkade, Anne Christian Buchanan, and Debra K. Klingsporn