Friday, March 23, 2007

Using Art in Prayer

Last night in our home-group we spent some time meditating on the word ‘lost’. Jesus told parables about a lost coin, a lost sheep and the prodigal son. This fitted in with my prayer on Sunday for those that had left our church over the years and are now journeying on a different path from us. Our meditation involved us creating a collage each on a big sheet of paper with the word lost at the centre. We could look through some newspapers to cut out words and phrases and glue them on our sheet. We could draw, paint or crayon on our sheet but I chose to make a stamp out of some plastic and a piece of string to stamp a pattern over the words which proved very effective. I found searching through for the words and creating the collage an interesting way to pray. My mind focused on those that had rejected and so lost friends as their life had unravelled over the years.

I want to continue the idea of using art in prayer is a theme tonight in our Time with God. I’ll be getting up in the middle of the night to spend a few hours tonight in our church building. In the light of Amazing Grace Sunday I feel to pray for the slavery that still exists such as people trafficking and have in my mind the raising of Lazarus. My prayer is that God will not only bring life into these areas of death but also ‘unwind the grave clothes’ bring freedom to individuals across the world. There usually are some art materials available so hopefully I’ll be able to make a picture.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Last week I was looking at the work of Strauss & Howe on Generations. It makes a good evaluation of the material on adult development that I am teaching my second years. Just as a man’s (or woman’s) life goes in seasons from pre-adulthood spring to the winter of old age so history goes in similar cycles of about 80 years.

Their theory sees the crises of the depression and World War 2 giving way to the high of 50s prosperity. This was followed by a time of revolution starting in the 60s the time of civil rights, hippies and the charismatic renewal. After going through a time of ‘unraveling’ they said that we will face another crisis at the beginning of the 21st century. This is now interpreted as the war on terror.

So I wonder, as a Christian, what we can learn about our time from looking at other crises. Perhaps there are parallels between what we as Christians can be doing today and what heroes of faith were doing in their crisis. For instance, Bonhoeffer comes to mind, standing in opposition to the Nazi’s. But what sort of political involvement could we be involved in today? These thoughts have partly led me to look more at faithworks again and to sign up as a member.

Could this be one way to be discerning of the times?