by Donny Abbott on December 01, 2021
The art heist of the century.
The Gospel of Matthew.
In March 1990 these elements all came together in a poorly secured art museum in Boston, Massachusetts. In less than ninety minutes, two thieves posing as police officers raided the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and made off with over $500 million of rare works of art.
But wait. The Gospel of Matthew? Yes, even Scripture comes into play, as you will soon discover, in a subtle, yet powerful, moving way that touches everyone a little differently.
Rembrandt’s “Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee” was among the invaluable works of art that were stolen. Painted in 1633 and his only known seascape, Rembrandt brings to life Matthew 8:23-27, where Jesus and his friends are caught in a vicious storm.
In 2017, I shared a devotion at our weekly church staff Chapel based on my spiritual reflections of this painting. I have been intrigued by the painting since my teenage years, having been drawn into the chaotic scene Rembrandt captured from the Gospel of Matthew. From that devotion and a deepening spiritual fascination with the painting, I set about writing a book. Not really knowing what I was getting into as I had never written a book before, I spent the next two years researching, writing, and editing a project that had taken on a life of its own. Finally, in July of 2021, the book was published.
I invite you to follow the emotional journey of Jesus’ disciples as they deal with a slumbering Messiah, towering waves, and a battle between life and death. This chaotic scene ends with a peaceful proclamation and an introspective challenge of where our faith lies.
Christ in the Storm is a book that gleans modern-day insights from a four-hundred-year-old painting firmly based in timeless, yet pertinent, Scripture. These insights provide inspiration to those of us who are navigating the perilous waters between faith and fear.
The book tackles the contradictory emotions we feel when we are faced with difficult trials, our possible responses to those trials, and the action steps we can take to move through them successfully. Touching on topics like obedience, fear, desperation, and worship, I offer my personal insights while also drawing inspiration from people in my life who have found their own way forward through trials of their own.
After finishing the book, you will have a better understanding and a greater appreciation for Jesus, who can be trusted to help even when it appears that he’s sleeping.
A special thanks to Pastor Jeff who was instrumental in pushing me forward on this project. As an accomplished writer himself, he knows all that goes into a writing project, and I felt him cheering me across the finish line. Pastor Brent was another person who gave shape to this book. Over the past four years, I have spent a number of hours in Brent’s office hearing his perspective on what I was writing about. Brent’s insight and theological expertise provided a depth to the book that I hope will be helpful to you, the reader.
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