Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gospel. Art.

My friend said we were "fools for Christ" to get to church by 6:45.  In the morning.  Downtown.  "Yea, well," I replied, "I love the Gospel and I love art.  Let's go!"

So we gathered in the parish hall of the downtown church with a 8 to 10  folks who were homeless (or otherwise dependent on the goodness of others), as my friend opened with a gentle prayer.  The folks who gathered around that table knew the protocol.  They arrive, get their "breakfast" number, and head to the hall for a discussion of the day's Gospel reading, which one offered to read.  A deep discussion ensued.

This is a group who love God. And the bible. And their neighbors.  And love to talk!  What fun...
  • "I think it represents how we are all afraid of death, but life in Christ gives us freedom to live fully into the knowledge that God loves us."
  • "To me, I have to confess that sometimes I lose my faith. This reading reminds me that despite my life being in a stormy time, if I have faith that Jesus will calm the storm, it will work out."
  • "In the end, it wasn't that they were praising him as a hero, but that they were praising God for all God had done.  Even after that storm. It reminds me to be thankful for blessings that I have in my life.  For this place, for example."
After about a half an hour of discussion, one man closed us in prayer. We opened up the art supply closet and each participant carefully chose a set of pencils, or oil paints, or water colors, or felt tip pens.  They picked out a sketch pad or construction paper or a small wooden, unpainted birdhouse or basket to embellish.

Silence fell on the room (except the busy workers in the kitchen who were preparing breakfast.)  The space was prayerful, as each pray-er got in the zone of making art.  For some, their art reflected the day's gospel.  For others, this it was simply a time to continue a project they had going on from weeks earlier.

For me, I sat with a plain piece of paper and attempted to draw Jesus in the crowd, Jesus on the water, Jesus in the boat, Jesus with the disciples.  I frowned at my stick people.  "He looks just like everyone else," I shared with my table mate.  This wise man who otherwise couldn't finish a sentence earlier, looked right at me and said, "well, don't holy people have one of those things...?"  He demonstrated with his hands by raising his arms like a big hoop over his head.  "A halo! of course!"

So I added a halo to my Jesus and voila!  Me and my tablemate made Gospel. Art. Together.

Here's the link to the art show that was held last year. 

How are you expressing your gospel, or your art, in this moment?

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