Moving Creatively Through Lent

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Yesterday I posted information on a new series called EMBODIED that starts this Friday, February 16th and goes through Good Friday. Embodied is a 7 week-long exploration of postures of praise & prayer to help us move mindfully through the Lenten season. I will be posting one posture each week (on Friday) to take us through the season of Lent.

In addition, to further help us move through Lent creatively, I will also be posting from the previously featured  “7” Virtual Art-Walk series each week on Wednesdays throughout Lent, as well as reflections from our church’s Lenten sermon series on Monday of each week. The 7 Virtual Art-Walk includes the artwork of Matt Durbin, the poetry of Sarah Wells, and music that all focus on the last 7 words of Christ spoken from the cross. And our church (5 Stones Community Church) will be working with passages throughout Ephesians to help us prayerfully remember and reflect on Jesus during this season. Continue reading

EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise

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Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”

jodythomae.com

In Luke 10, when the lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, he asked him how to inherit eternal life. Like a learned rabbi, Jesus turned the question back to the lawyer, who answered:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus confirmed his answer as true, with a command and a promise: “Do this and you will live.”

When I teach on embodied prayer and worshiping with your whole self (including the often-excluded body), I am often asked where to begin. “EMBODIED” — a 7 day exploration of postures of prayer and praise — is designed as a starting (or restarting point) for those wanting to engage their bodies in prayer and worship.

  • Perhaps you have never used your body to pray or worship?
  • Or perhaps you’ve danced like David before the Lord and are looking for a new way to explore the movement of worship that flows freely from your sinew and bones?
  • Or perhaps you’re looking for an embodied way to spend an intentional week of prayer and worship before the Lord?

Whatever your reason, I’m glad you’re here. Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #250 — Infinite Windows

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Infinite Windows

I trust you had a blessed CHRISTmas holiday as you celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Did you know in traditional Christian church tradition, CHRISTmas lasts through Epiphany on January 6th? As we wind down from the CHRISTmas holiday weekend, let us remember that Jesus came both to LIVE as God among us (Incarnation) and to DIE as the final atoning sacrifice (Salvation). He is both Lion and Lamb, Alpha and Omega, Healer and Savior, Infant Babe and Victorious King!

Today let me refer you to an October post on Infinite Windows, a blog with meditations on faith and art. This post describes a powerful encounter the writer recently had with a piece of artwork at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The painting was Caravaggio’s Christ Crowned with Thorns, and it depicts Roman soldiers forcing the crown of thorns upon Jesus’ head. I am often astonished by the power of art to bring us into life-changing encounters and memories of God’s redemptive power, grace and love. Continue reading

“It is finished!” Last 7 Words of Jesus in Art, Poetry & Song (Create-A-Day #65)

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“7” Virtual Art-Walk: Day 6

“It is finished!”  John 19:30

Matt Durbin (c) 2010

Matt Durbin (c) 2010
mattdurbinart.com

The Antique Rocking Chair

The carpenter is not disappointed

by the ruined finish or the broken arm,

loose spindles, failed glue joints.

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“I am thirsty” Last 7 Words of Jesus in Art, Poetry & Song (Create-A-Day #64)

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“7” Virtual Art-Walk: Day 5

Cup of Blessing by Matt Durbin (C) 2011 www.mattdurbinart.com

Cup of Blessing
by Matt Durbin (C) 2011
mattdurbinart.com

“Later, knowing that all was now completed,

and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled,

Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’”

– John 19:28

 

Drink 

The fount of living water

bellows drought. I want

to lift a ladle, cold and pure,

so you could be relieved.

But I’m deceived with ease.

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“Dear woman, here is your son…” Last 7 Words of Jesus in Art, Poetry & Song (Create-A-Day #62)

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“7” Virtual Art-Walk: Day 3

[Jesus] said to [Mary], “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.”  John 19:26

Matt Durbin (c) 2010

Matt Durbin (c) 2010
mattdurbinart.com

Mary at the Cross

I am not old. A bewildered mother

since conception who stored up

each moment. Now I will recall

the way you reached for me, a babe,

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“Today you will be with me…” Last 7 Words of Jesus in Art, Poetry & Song (Create-A-Day #61)

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“7” Virtual Art-Walk: Day 2

“I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”               Luke 23:43

Matt Durbin (c) 2010

Matt Durbin (c) 2010
mattdurbinart.com

Breath

Jesus, why are you

up here

with me,      why

is our blood

mixing      with dirt,

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“Father forgive them…” Last 7 Words of Jesus in Art, Poetry & Song (Create-A-Day #60)

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“7” Virtual Art-Walk: Day 1

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

Matt Durbin (c) 2014
mattdurbinart.com

The People Stood Watching

Come, see a man who told me everything

I ever did. A man who healed my eyes,

fed me bread he multiplied, poured my cup

of wine, washed my feet, called me out

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“7” Virtual Art-Walk: The Last Words of Jesus in Art, Poetry & Song (Create-A-Day #59)

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7 bannersSeveral years ago our church creative arts ministry offered an event called “7” — a self-directed art-walk focusing on the last seven words of Christ spoken from the cross. Similar to a prayer-walk, an art-work utilizes art to help you prayerfully meditate while walking through a series of stations. There were seven stations and at each was a banner with the words of Christ, a poem by author and poet Sarah M. Wells, and a painting by artist Matt Durbin.

We will be re-creating a “virtual” version of “7” through the Create-A-Day posts with poetry by Sarah and artwork by Matt paired with songs. Our hope is that these posts will prepare your hearts for Resurrection Sunday, help you consider the cost of Christ’s priceless gift, and worship Jesus more deeply during this blessed season. Continue reading

Create-A-Day, your daily dose of creativity #57 — The Art of Easter

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The story of the events surrounding Christ’s death and resurrection found in the Holy scriptures has inspired artists for thousand of years. Here’s a small sample of some classical and contemporary artwork and the scriptures that inspired them.


The Last Supper Leonardo Da Vinci 1494-1498

The Last Supper
Leonardo Da Vinci
1494-1498

When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. Luke 22:14-20 Continue reading

Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #56 — Bach’s Mein Jesu

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J open armsAs we move closer to Easter, won’t you take moment to reflect on the forgiveness offered to you in Christ’s death on the cross?

Then press play and as you listen to Bach’s Mein Jesu (My Jesus) from Leopold Stokowski’s Symphonic Bach, head over to read this powerful story of forgiveness, about a young widow offering the forgiveness of Jesus Christ to the killers of her husband who was serving the Libyan people in Benghazi as a teacher. There’s also a news report video worth the watch there.

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #55 — Stations of Cross

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Colored wood crossesThe Stations of the Cross (or the Via Dolorosa), often done on Good Friday, represent a spiritual and physical pilgrimage to commemorate the Passion of Christ. Most often practiced in Roman Catholic Churches, today I will refer you to “The Cross as Journey: The Stations of the Cross for Protestant Worship” by Dennis Bratcher. The article provides historical description and background material, as well as a simple Service of Worship with preparations, supply list, the liturgy and song suggestions.

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #54 — Paradosi Ballet

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paradosiballetcompany.com

paradosiballetcompany.com

Paradosi Ballet Company shares the Love of Christ through dance, drama and personal witness. The first professional ballet company in the Pacific Northwest, they serve under the direction of Joel and Tennille Carver.

This is the company performing “Amazing Grace” in Avignon, France. I love the backdrop of BEaUtiful architecture behind them!

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #53 — Creative Lenten Worship

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C nail crown thornCreative Lenten Worship is a blog with creative worship ideas for the Lenten season, Holy Week, and Easter for pastors, worship leaders and creative arts teams. There are ideas for decorating your altar space for worship (with photos), as well as a reading for four voices for communion. There are also ideas for visual reminders such as Lenten nail pocket reminders and bags with thirty pieces of silver for family devotions. Instructions included for everything offered.

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #52 — Same Skin as Him

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Let this spoken word piece by Oraia deepen your devotion, inspire your week, and remind you of His amazing grace!

“Death Could Not Exist in the Same Skin as Him”

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #51 — Creative Ideas for Easter Worship

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Need some fresh ideas for Easter at your church or for your ministry? Here’s a list of Creative Worship Settings and Elements from The Worship Closet: The Place for Creative Worship Ideas. It also includes ideas for Mission Projects. Lots of great ideas! Happy hunting!

worshipcloset.com

worshipcloset.com

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #50 — Easter for Families

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Want to make Easter something more than just another commercialized holiday for the children in your life or the children you serve in your ministry? Want to make Easter about Jesus? Then check out Christ-Centered Easter Ideas for Families from Erika {sweeting} Dawson. She has links to ideas and devotionals and crafts and books and more! She’s sifted past the springtime Pinterest posts and found creative resources centered on Jesus!

erikadawson.com

erikadawson.com

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #49 — Worship Films for Easter

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S empty tomb1ShareFaith has a variety of videos for use in your Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter worship services. Watch this example:

Resurrection of Jesus

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #48 — Live Through This

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Dese’Rae L. Stage is an artist on a mission—a mission to save lives through her innovative project called Live Through This. Often times as artists we forget that our work has power to heal and bring hope and life where there is darkness and death. This photographer is not only bringing healing, hope and life but also awareness to a problem that affects far more people than we could ever realize.

livethroughthis.org Dese'Rae L. Stage

http://www.livethroughthis.org
Dese’Rae L. Stage

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Create-A-Day: your daily dose of creativity #47 — Journey to the Cross

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From now until Good Friday, I will be posting resources and inspiration geared towards Easter. Perhaps you or church will be inspired to do something creative to help others experience the breadth and depth of the Easter season.

Journey to the Cross is an interactive prayer walk focusing on the stations of the cross. It was done by the worship arts ministry of  Level Ground Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, BC. The entire service with participant directions, readings, audio and video walk-through instructions is posted on rethink worship.com. If you’ve ever wanted to do Stations of the Cross but wasn’t sure where to start, everything is all laid out for you.

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