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Painting: The Scepter of Justice - The Shattering

Updated: Apr 12

Painted Live at the Vineyard Canada National Gathering, July 2023

There is a line from Hebrews and the Psalms that speaks of Jesus holding the Scepter of Justice. We also sing this line in David Ruis' song, 'Lily of the Valley.'

From a Western, colonial perspective, when we speak of the scepter of justice perhaps the image that comes to mind is the scepter of imperialism- symbolizing dominion, might, and triumphalism.

However, in the Bible a scepter of justice can also mean a shepherd's staff, which has very different connotations. It is connected to pastoral nurture and care.

In his book 'A Grief Observed,' C.S. Lewis challenges us with these words:

'My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered from time to time. He shatters it Himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of his presence?'

This painting is an image of Jesus shattering our misconceptions of the scepter of justice (the golden scepter) with the true scepter of justice (the staff). In doing so he is challenging us to lay down our quest for power and success, and to instead follow the lead of our servant, shepherd king who lays down his life for his sheep.

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