Advent 1 B: A Present-Tense Advent

Mark 13:24-37 Dear Partner in Preaching, I sometimes think Norman Rockwell is one of the most dangerous artists of the past century. I know that may initially sound a bit absurd, as Rockwell’s overly cheerful, even sentimental style led many to dismiss him as a serious artist and, indeed, often to refer to him instead as a mere illustrator. Moreover, I say this as one who enjoys Rockwell’s endearing style and portrait of what feels like a bygone era. Yet it is precisely Rockwell’s sentimentality that poses certain hazards, particularly when it is viewed it not as sentimental but as ideal. Think of it this way: how many of us look at...