Meditating on Art – Sieger Koder

Sieger Koder experienced active service as a soldier in WW2, then imprisonment as a Prisoner of War.  Returning from this, he trained in art and worked as a teacher for some years, before training and serving as a priest in his native Germany.

All these experiences produced an art which is down to earth, full of human experience but also reflective of the mystery of God and who this Christ is.  Today I’ve found a video which looks at some of his work and points out what is contained in the pictures, thoughtfully.

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Another view of Christmas

serendipity (noun) – the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. “a fortunate stroke of serendipity”

I don’t regularly listen to Radio 2, but flicking through the channels while driving home last Thursday morning I came across Sarah Joseph on the Chris Evans show with her “Pause for thought” and I’d like to share this with you…

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Sarah Joseph OBE is Editor & CEO of emel media. Having grown up in one of the world’s top model agencies, Sarah converted to Islam at the age of 16. A powerful and popular public speaker, she has lectured on Islam globally for over 20 years.

 

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Art and liturgical year

Advent…. Easter…. looking for visual ideas for church?

Check out this magazine-on-computer, crammed with visual creativity

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“The Christ Hymn” from “Behold I make all things new” album

This is a new carol woven through by poems from 4 very different writers: Malcolm Guite, Scott Cairns, Joel McKerrow and Luci Shaw; paintings by Julie Ann Stevens.

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Writing a new take on Christmas (3 mins video)

Behold I make all things new” is the title of a Christmas album, by Alana Levandoski.

She makes a very interesting explanation for why she wrote this project, in this brief video.  “Whenever we see God historically as ‘out there’ -” (she gestures to beyond herself) “- we’ve done things in the name of God that would otherwise be seen as a desecration if we saw God as in here” (she points to herself). “So that was my motivation in making this.”

( Unfortunately, this video has been edited into tiny snippets in a rather obvious, distracting way – but what she actually says is key.)

 

 

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Evening prayer: Lord, All things are your servants

From evening prayer:

Psalm 119:90-96

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
    you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
91 By your appointment they stand today,
    for all things are your servants.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
    I would have perished in my misery.
93 I will never forget your precepts,
    for by them you have given me life.
94 I am yours; save me,
    for I have sought your precepts.
95 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
    but I consider your decrees.
96 I have seen a limit to all perfection,
    but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

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Fearfully and wonderfully made

I accidentally came across this video advert today, automatically inserted to play before a video I was waiting to see.

And as I viewed it – the making of a wonderful watch, it reminded me of the verses where our making by God is described as fearful and wonderful and detailed – our lives as precious and planned.  Psalm 139.

I find it meaningful to play this video through twice, while reading the psalm (the Voice translation particularly speaks to me).  It becomes a meditation on being made and the Maker.

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Worship leader – how to become invisible

Great article from Mark Cole.  On how to serve as worship leader in such a way that people are not caught up with you but with Jesus…

Worship Leading: 7 Keys To Becoming Invisible

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True and Better…

a contemplative, thought-enriching series of observations about Christ, with graphic lettering.  A lot packed into 2 minutes.

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Music Prayer Film Video and Festivals

How do we as Christian celebrate the seasons including secular celebrations?

Today, I was stopped in my tracks by 4 artpieces which I now find are related.  I began by feeling drawn to picking up and rereading a section in a book which has inspired so much for me – “The Passion in Art” by Richard Harries.  (Which collects a variety of depictions of Christ’s crucifixion over the centuries).

Then my email mentions a lady new to me,  whom I googled and found singing this tiny fragment – less than a minute in length:

“Teach us Lord to love others, like you want us to love, this is our prayer…”

 

Then the computer algorithms of Youtube suggested another piece recorded at the same church the lady singer was visiting – he looked familiar – it was the actor who played Christ in the Mel Gibson film.  He describes the filming of the crucifixion, how strange and physical an experience it was for him – and how it was like being at the centre of a storm.  And in his quiet unemotional voice I found I was in Easter all over again.

 

Then I find this brief brief jazz piece performed in Saint Peter’s church, New York

“Give us, Lord, a new heart.”

Such a perfect expression for the date the music was performed on: St Valentine’s Day and also the first day of Lent in 2016…. what a gorgeous piece, calling us to deep transformation.  Deeper than chocolate boxes and smaltzy cards.

And we’re back again at the first video clip, hearing and singing “Teach us Lord to love others”….

 

 

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