Three thoughts to share tonight (Saturday) before I hit the hay and before I leave you with some amazing pics of the different scenery from our journey around Venice during our 2nd day here…
1 – I absolutely am more-than-I-can-say grateful to have this opportunity to be here with my dad in Italy. Thanks to all who made this happen and supported me to do so, especially Jen and the kids. I absolutely miss Jen and the kids, and I can’t wait to take Jen to Italy one day!!!
2 – do I need to set my clock forward? Do they do that over here? You do if you are reading this in the states?
3 – I absolutely had a thought today when I saw a painting of St. Sebastian, the patron saint of the Black Plague who was believed to help ward the fatal disease off. I have been wondering for a long time what sparked the Renaissance. What caused the movement that would change the course of history as we know it in all aspects of life? Dad and I had a great conversation about it our last night in Florence while strolling the city streets. And the conversation has continued in my head.
Today, when I saw the painting of Sebastian, a thought occurred to me. Did the black plague cause the Renaissance? Could the reality of such epidemic death have been a key ingredient stirred into the hearts of pioneers and inventors and artists and philosophers and theologians, causing such vibrancy and newness of life to blossom from Florence to all the world?
What if those Renaissance men had looked on and even tried to believe the teachings of the wealthiest corporation on earth during the Middle Ages, the church? What if they witnessed the bold promises of blessings and unbiblical practices of salvation-earning put forth by that corporation? What if they pondered those promises and practices in light of an estimated 25 million people across Europe dying from 1348 to 1353? What if some of those that died were family members and friends of Petrarch and Boccaccio, who lived during this time?
It was their lives that sparked the explosive creativity and influence of Michelangelo and da Vinci and Botticelli and Raphael and Titian. Could it be that these artists looked on one hand at the false promises and unbiblical practices and glaring hypocrisy of the church leaders, many of whom hired them, next looked on the other hand at the reality of death in the face of declared blessings from God as a result of obedience to church traditions, and then concluded that there must be another way of thinking that doesn’t result in the “blessing” of the black plague?
Maybe a really, really wrong thought, but it burdens me as I think of the church of the west today. I wonder what the new-movement artisans and inventors and writers and scientists and politicians and spiritualists are concluding as they look upon the activity of those who call themselves Christians.
May we know Jesus truly and make Him known clearly and love like He did purely and surrender our selfish pursuits.
Well, if that black plague stuff wasn’t too much of a downer, maybe you can enjoy these pictures of various scenes around Venice from today. I inserted them as a gallery. Hope you can see them okay. I believe that if you click on one, it shows up bigger. Have fun!