I find humor in a lot of things...maybe it's a wrong way of dealing with serious life issues...but i know my sense of humor has often kept my heart above the brokenness and sadness of life. My son tells me I am not actually funny, I just laugh at my own jokes. So, for this post I apologize NOW if you do not see the humor in this like I do.
(You'll have to read to the end to get to the punchline and find out why this post is populated with penguins.)
As we approach InSpero's Pentecost Evening (June 8 at Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church) I have to laugh at myself. What was I thinking??? Trying to pull together art, music, dance, a conversation about artists as prophets. A deep discussion about the role of the Holy Spirit, beauty and artists in the Church. In just a few weeks?
I am passionate about something I'm not sure anyone else cares about. It keeps me up at night. I'm okay with the fact that I am a nerd who cares about artists and the church and the coming Kingdom.
I believe with all my heart that BEAUTY is THE KINDNESS OF GOD to HIS people in this broken world.
WE ALL NEED TO DRINK DEEPLY OF HIS KINDNESS TO MAKE IT TO TOMORROW.
While (it feels like) everyone else is watching the latest TV series I'm usually slowing, watching the sunset, thinking and praying about beauty and the church.
OH HOW THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD NEED TASTES OF HEAVEN!
OH HOW THE WORLD NEEDS ARTISTS TO CREATE REDEMPTIVELY AND GENERATIVELY.
OH HOW ARTISTS AND CREATIVES NEED THE SHELTER AND PROTECTION OF THE CHURCH.
OH HOW the CHURCH NEEDS to SLOW and SAVOR THE BEAUTIFUL ONE.
"The true prophet disturbs and invites the heart to return to godly worship. In fact, the prophet is a servant of the church who stands outside the church in order to invite those who appear to be in it to return to true worship." -Dan Allender
I believe these conversations are good to have because beauty matters to God.
I believe we can NEVER talk or dream about HEAVEN too much.
I believe if you know the good you ought to do and do NOT do it--it is wrong.
I believe processing in community is good. Community can breed courage and repentance.
This past weekend I was a enjoying a long slow PJ's morning with my oldest and we were talking about courage and somehow we merged into the subject of birds who appeared to show courage or the lack thereof.
You never know where our family's conversations will lead us. My daughter proceeded to ask me what I knew of the habits of penguins as the species related to our conversation.
I do not know much about the culture of penguins.
She told me about the groups of penguins who approach the water's edge in large numbers to determine together if the ocean is safe for fishing or swimming.
Apparently the "way" the penguins collectively decide if the water is SAFE is this:
They nudge a friend or two over the edge (oops!) and if the friend is not devoured by a dreaded leopard seal, then they all dive in and enjoy.
I've laughed thinking of this image as Nancy, me, and a handful of others jump off into the unknown (we weren't even pushed!) into this conversation between artists and the church, really mostly all about heaven.
It's scary. I've jumped before and there were leopard seals waiting.
I still desire to jump again.
I've also found twisted pleasure in learning that penguins work and travel in groups to create confusion. Now that's an invitation you can't refuse! Join us. WE NEED YOU IN THIS CONVERSATION. (And we'll jump first!)
Hearing in Their Own Languages: A Pentecost Conversation on the Role of the Holy Spirit, Beauty and Artists in the Church
Sunday, June 8 Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church 5080 Cahaba Valley Trace, Birmingham, LA 35242
4:30 pm Artist Gallery and Reception with Musician Phil Dudley
5:30 pm Original Music and Dance featuring Jenny Pruitt and Alisa McCool
6 pm Pentecost Conversation: Gordon Bals, PhD, Founder of Daymark Counseling, speaking on the Artist as Prophet and leading discussion with artists and pastors about the role of beauty in the Church.
It was at Rivendell the hobbits think through the vocation they have been given, carefully working out the who and what and where of the odyssey that will be theirs. But integral to all that they were, and to all that they would need to be, was the table at Rivendell, a place for the best conversations and the best food and the best drink — simply said, a wonder of wonders." Steve Garber
The never-ending hope of Easter, Writer Andrew Shaughnessy shares reflections on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and why hope and beauty matter. "We hope because we know a day is coming when, to paraphrase Sam in The Lord of the Rings, “everything sad will come untrue,” when our Creator King will dry every tear and bind up the broken hearts and restore the sundered cities and turn the world upside down."