Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Fight Between Carnival and Lent


The Fight Between Carnival and Lent is a 1559 oil painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, a Dutch painter.  I was introduced to this painting during an excellent sermon given a few weeks ago by Pastor Angie McNeil.

Since her initial comments on the painting, I have spent several hours looking at it and reading about the message that it carries.

Carnival represents, joy, merriment, and Mardi Gras.  Lent, well lent is lent.  Serious time.  The painting is about the clash in our hearts and minds between the enjoyment of life and the seriousness of life.

On the left of the painting is an Inn where people are drinking beer and enjoying themselves.  There is a parade and silly merriment.  On the right side of the painting is the church.  People on the right side are contemplating life, helping the poor and being reflective.

In the center of the picture, as pointed out by Angie McNeil, is a woman, maybe the woman at the well.  She is looking into a bucket of water, considering her image.

The idea of looking at our image from time to time is not just for lent.  Every now and then we should pause to ask ourselves who we are and what are we about.  I think that life should have its Inns and it's churches.  I think that merriment is as holy as contemplation.  Both are gifts from God.

Sometimes people are too serious.  Too heavy.  Sometimes, too frivolous.  We all need from time to time to stop by the well, look in the bucket of water and take stock of our lives.

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

1 comment:

Di Flower said...

I agree with your sentiments. That both merriment and seriousness are gifts from God. Sometimes we are made to feel guilty about merriment. But God knew that merriment had many good physical and emotions aspects to relax us and prepare us for the serious part of life.