Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Journey of Creativity

Over the past two years, I have been pouring my creative energies into art for our church bulletins and projected screens based on my sermons. It began as a form of art explorations of scripture in Lent of 2013, as I made drawings to accompany my sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. It continued through the church year with drawings for Pentecost and a series on the book of Revelation. This summer I ventured further with using words as the centerpiece, exploring the techniques of lettering. 

This fall our worship committee asked me to compose a series of bulletin covers to fit with our theme: Prepare Him Room. I’d like to share them with you and invite you to journey with us as we prepare our hearts and our lives to receive Jesus and answer the call to follow and walk in his ways. Our first two Sundays of Advent go hand in hand: Prepare him room with Open Eyes and Open Ears. We are following the Narrative Lectionary (Narrative Lectionary FAQs), and therefore our Spirit given text was Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:2-4; 3:17-19.

In the wake of last week’s protests and challenging news broadcasts following the events in Ferguson, MO, we were called to look with OPEN EYES. Like Habakkuk, we will not ignore the violence and injustice before our eyes, recognizing the call from God for us all to be transformed. "Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” Habakkuk 3:17-19

What will you see when you open your eyes this Advent season? How will you rejoice in God’s plan for mercy and deliverance in the face of what you see with your eyes?

This coming week invites us to prepare with OPEN EARS. We will hear how both the young Queen Esther and the young Mary prepared for God’s deliverance and salvation with open ears. Wondering how the king could listen to a young girl as her, Esther listened to her cousin Mordecai’s words: "If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 NLT)

Wondering how such a a young girl could carry the presence of God inside her womb, Mary asks the Angel, how can this be? With open ears, she hears these words and believes:“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:35-37 NLT)

As we look at those things we would rather not see, and we listen to the challenging words we would rather not hear, how is God calling us to prepare for new life this Advent and Christmas season?

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