Friday, 10 April 2015

Take Me Deeper - April Week 2

Well, due to various issues I didn't have the Holy Week I'd hoped for! Easter Sunday was different also...and I still think to myself how weird it is not to be up early and getting ready to play all the hymns at Church for the Children's Family Mass (I 'retired' from playing the organ June 2014)! It would always be quite nerve-racking as there would be so many pieces to play and I had to have the music in the right order to make for faster transitions!
Still, it's a good job we have faith in God enough to sustain ourselves through this time of despair, and can lean on Him to bring us through. I am so thankful for everybody at His Kingdom Come who inspire me so much with their words, their artwork and their kindness. If you would like to join this wonderful community and perhaps take up the Take Me Deeper 2015 Project or another class or three (!!) you can find it all HERE!

Now, to my Take Me Deeper Page for April Week 2 - From Death to Life

I read Romans 6-8 as suggested and noted down a lot of points, including:
- if we have died to sin we cannot live in sin
- we are to think of ourselves as dead, so far as sin is concerned, but living in fellowship with God through Christ Jesus.
- sin must no longer rule in our mortal bodies, so that we obey the desires of our natural self. We must instead give ourselves to God and surrender our whole being to Him to be used for righteous purposes.
- No longer do we serve in the old way of a written law, but in the new way of the Spirit.
- If Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you.
- ...the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with god for us...And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will
- Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be like the eldest brother in a large family.
- He gave his Son - will he not freely give all things?
Then from 2 Corinthians 5:14-21:
- Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come. All this is done by God, who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also. Our message is that god was making the whole human race his friends through Christ.
- Here we are then, speaking for Christ, as though God himself were making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ's behalf: let God change you from enemies into his friends! Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God.
Then from Collossians 2:13-15:
You were at one time spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were Gentiles without the Law. But God has now brought you to life with Christ. God forgave all our sins; he cancelled the unfavourable record of our debts with its unbinding rules and did away with it completely by nailing it to the cross. And on that cross, Christ stripped the spiritual rulers and authorities of their power; he made a public spectacle of them by leading them as captives in his victory procession.
Lastly Ephesians 2:1-10:
- In the past you were spiritually dead because of your disobedience and sins. At that time you followed the world's evil way; you obeyed the ruler of the spiritual power in space, the spirit who now controls the people who disobey God. Actually all of us were like them and lived according to our natural desires, doing whatever suited the wishes of our own bodies and minds. In our natural condition we, like everyone else, were destined to suffer God's anger.
But God's mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God's grace that you have been saved. In our union with Christ Jesus he raised us up with him to rule with him in the heavenly world. He did this to demonstrate for all time to come the extraordinary greatness of his grace in the love he showed us in Christ Jesus. For it is by God's grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the results of your own efforts, but God's gift, so that no one can boast about it.God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.
I then looked for some commentaries on these readings and made some notes on these including this from Matthew Henry:
Paul speaks of the great foundation doctrine of the Gospel. if we believe we might be justified by the faith of Christ and belief in Christ, is it not foolish to go back to the law, and to expect to be justified by the merit of moral works, or sacrifices, or ceremonies?
Paul saw that justification was not to be expected by the works of the law, and that there was no further need of the sacrifices and cleansing of it, since they were done away in Christ, by his offering up himself a sacrifice for us.The effect was not a careless, lawless life. It was necessary that he might live to God and be devoted to Him through the motives and grace of the gospel.
Finally: No man, whom we have reason to believe to be justified by faith in Christ is to be refused either Christian association or Church fellowship.
having read all this and starting to think about an image to represent it all (!) I decided it needed to be kept simple. Firstly I thought about surrendering your whole being and what kind of image could represent that. Next I thought about new life and new creation and images for that. I knew then that I wanted a person looking free, no self consciousness present, fully surrendered to God and new life. I wanted flowers strewn around, as if flying through the air with abandon; in celebration of being free and no longer a slave of sin. Finally I knew I wanted light, bright colours - the darkness of sin has gone!
So this is my piece! The dancing lady just felt so free and full of life! She is dancing on the flower, representing new life. There are small flowers strewn around, flying through the air around her, in celebration. The colours are bright and cheerful with no hint of darkness. The Spirit is represented around her as in previous weeks' pieces. Other accents were added to add to the feeling of light, happiness and abandonment to God. This dancing lady is truly living a new life!

Dancing lady is a CU vector, the flower b/g paper is my own, and everything else is CU brushes.
Bernie x

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