Last week our son, Elijah (7) was given a drawing assignment: copy Sandro Botticelli’s Madonna of the Pomegranate (c. 1487). Operative word here: ‘copy’. Elijah, however, understood ‘interpret’. And so the heavenly shafts of light illumining Mary’s head were transmogrified into something rather less spiritual.

 Sandro Botticelli’s Madonna of the PomegranateElijah's drawing of lightning near Mary's head

What could be causing this? Who? None other than All-Angry Zeus, wearing his favorite thunderbolt nightgown.

Joseph himself bolts to the rescue!

Elijah's drawing of Joseph running to the rescue

What will happen to Madonna and Child? Zooming out to find an answer, we see cranial-clouded Zeus centrally in control.

Elijah's drawing of Zeus in a cloud throwing lightning bolts

Mary’s hands flail. Salvation hangs by a thread. But Baby Jesus, some crying he makes. And all Olympus doth at his presence quake.

Elijah's drawing of baby Jesus

(Looks like this Christmas I’ve got my work cut out for me: disentangling the biblical-Homeric syncretism of my son’s theology!)