Lenten Art

Our church has prayer stations every week for people to make use of during worship (mainly during times when we're singing--including during communion as we go to the table in small groups so not everyone is there at the same time). There are various stations at different times. Some are tactile and sensory (like the confession stations where you choose a stone and press it into a bowl of sand) and most appeal to the children (like the station where you may pick a loop with ribbons and dance to the worship music).

During each week of Lent stations of the cross are brought out adding more each week. People from church signed up for different stations. Anders, Beth and I each signed up for one (I'm going to be in trouble here because I didn't get a picture of Beth's piece).

Anders is an excellent artist, and he agreed when I suggested he do one of the stations. He chose #2: Jesus takes up His cross. I was curious to see what his drawing would look like. He did some nice ones of the Nativity. But he wasn't up for drawing the picture. He wasn't sure how to do it. So, while we were looking for pictures of station #2 online, we came across an artist who did all the stations using hand prints. A subsequent trip to my parents' farm got us a nice weathered piece of lumber. His station turned out simple but eloquent, I feel.
It will say different things to different people, but for me it says that "taking up our cross" isn't an easy task. It's toilsome, dangerous and even lethal.

My station was #4: Jesus meets His mother. I struggled with how to portray it for a while. I ended up focusing on Mary and the emotional impact that Good Friday must have been for her.
There are times when I have that emotional reaction to "seeing" Jesus carry His cross. For Mary it must have been heart-wrenching to see her son going to be crucified for no legal reason. He was going to His death because He claimed to be God. And Mary, though she probably wrestled with understanding Who her son really was, must have had some belief that Jesus was right in what He said. She had been handpicked by God, after all.

Of course, each piece may say something entirely different to you. Or nothing at all. That is the nature of art. It is not like a book in which one can sometimes clearly understand the author's point. Art is an expression both by the artist and by the viewer. Lent speaks to us all in different ways as well. But there is one clear message through it all: God loves you more deeply than you can imagine. We don't always interpret that message well, but it's there. Hopefully at the end of this Lenten journey that message is a little more meaningful.


Alaina Beth said...

Anders piece is definitely powerful.

And your piece is fantastic, Dave. You really have an eye and do a good job!

Rev. Dave said...

Thanks Laner!