This brightly colored contemporary icon of the Deisis (from the Greek word for Supplication) was painted in 1992 and is from the Nea Skiti on Mount Athos. This monastery follows the Skete or middle form of monastic life, part way between the ascetic eremetic life and the all things in common cenobitic life. This is the form of monastic life most praised at the beginning of St. John of the Ladder’s 7th century instructions on monasticism.
The Lord sits on His Throne in Glory as He will appear on the Day of Judgment to separate the sheep from the goats. He has an open Gospel Book signifying that His message has gone out over all the earth and this message has given the standard by which all men will be judged. His right hand is raised in blessing.
“Upon Thy right hand did stand the Queen in gold of Ophir” (Ps. 45:9) says the Psalmist King David. She stands now in His Glory as she did on His right hand at His Crucifixion, supplicating with St. John the Forerunner who stands on Christ’s left, interceding on behalf of us sinners to implore Christ to forgive and have mercy on us. May we also find great mercy today!