86x104 inches, oil on canvas, 2017
Collection of SMU Perkins School
of Theology.
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“Nativity” is based on Revelation 12, which pictures The
Birth of Jesus in the midst of a great heavenly battle. C. S.
Lewis said, “The Christian story is precisely the story of one
grand miracle…that what is beyond all space and time,
what is uncreated, eternal, came into nature, into human
nature, descending into His own universe…” In the painting,
the birth of Christ is seen as a supernatural invasion. God
has broken into our world and the citizenry of heaven,
representing beautiful aspects of life God has created, are
driving Satan, and his followers, into the darkness. Among
these are represented aspects of evil:  distorted love, cold
bureaucracy, delight of suffering, and self-righteous
religion.  The angels do not defeat the demons by force of
arms, but by the good news they bring- that Jesus has
been born into the world to redeem people by His own
powerful sacrifice. A great cross, in the very center of the
painting, leaning over the lamb, foreshadows the crucifixion
that Jesus will endure.
Text carved on the frame:
"The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to
give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it
was born…and there was war in heaven…The great
dragon was hurled down- that ancient serpent called the
devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was
hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a
loud voice in heaven say...”The accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night, has
been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the
Lamb…” -Revelation 12  “Do not be afraid, for behold, I
bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all
people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to
you:  You will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,
lying in a manger.”  -Luke 2

Text within the painting:

"Unto us a child is born, Unto us a son is given: and his
name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."-Isaiah 9:6
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the word was God. The Light shines in the
darkness, but the darkness has not understood It.
-John 1:1,5
"He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is
found." -from
"Joy to the World"
"Veiled in flesh the godhead see." - from "Hark the Herald
Angels Sing"
"Now ye hear of endliss bliss, Jesus Christ was born for
this. Now ye need not fear the grave, Jesus Christ was
born to save." -from
"Good Christian Men Rejoice"
I would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Hannibal Silver
to whom I am indebted for the original idea for the painting,
from his excellent lecture series on the Book of Revelation
at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.