“The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread.” This began our Gospel reading yesterday. The same two disciples said, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32) These two disciples had a direct encounter with our Lord. This direct encounter remains the goal of discipleship today.
Isaac painted The Road to Emmaus in 2017, and some of you may remember seeing it on his funeral card. Below, I’ll share another word from Isaac about his method of Christian art.
This past weekend, I had occasion to look through Isaac’s art journal, which included some painting descriptions. There was a description of this painting! Here’s what it said:
Painting description: The Road to Emmaus
[a blank page]
Hmm. I assume Isaac initially intended to go back and fill in that blank space. At first, I wished he had, but then I thought better of it. Upon further reflection, he must have realized, “What else is there to say? The Scripture reference says it all.” The Scripture passage is the best way disciples who see this painting can have their own direct encounter with Jesus.
Further to this point, Isaac wrote the following in a recent sketch book:
“How does one approach the truth of Christ in art? — Only by what God himself provides to the artist. God will give a gift as to what the artist should say. The artist’s attempts are straw, but God can through him reveal his truth, his Word.” (12/31/19)
May God gives us all this kind of direct encounter.
P.S. A few people have asked me for a high-quality, archival (giclee) reproduction of Isaac’s The Road to Emmaus. I’m planning to arrange a printing next week, and I can include some custom orders. A 16″ x 20″ print on canvas, for example, would be about $47. If you’re interested, then just reply to this email and I can share more.