Comment: "For most of its 75 years, the Concordia College Christmas Concert has deftly blended word and music with visual art as generations have gathered to enrich their growing faith. The mural for "O Holy Night" is loosely patterned after the age-old rose windows of cathedrals throughout the world. From the deep darkness of night, figures and symbols illuminated by the brilliance of a new day burst from the confines of their framework to reveal God's loving message of hope, promise and joy. Through a sky passing from darkness into light, the creative hand of God descends from clouds to illumine the Nativity star. Out of the Messianic rose, a heralding angel brings this Good News to Mary--in fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, "from the stump of Jesse . . . a branch shall grow." Other Old Testament images include the tablets of the Ten Commandments and the burning bush given to Moses as a sign of God's power and presence. Before the walls of sleepy Bethlehem, Luke's Christmas story is illustrated by the approaching Magi, an angel appearing to the shepherds and traditional barnyard animals surrounding the manger where Jesus is born. Bordered by ancient monograms of Christ, fingers of the morning sun carry their image of Revelation's "new Jerusalem," reaching to embrace the chaotic earthly city--here portrayed as the ruins of New York's World Trade Center towers. A hovering dove reveals eagle's talons and carries an olive branch, suggesting our dual yearning for justice and peace. Amid this earthly chaos rises the affirming face of our Savior, whose crucifixion is depicted by the crosses of Calvary, the crown of thorns and three nails; and whose resurrection is symbolized by the butterfly. On this "Holy Night," it is fitting that we pause for reflection--to pray for the warmth and brightness of the approaching dawn of forgiveness and eternal life. In this contemplation, may we all discover anew the comfort and strength of God's loving embrace."
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