5.12.09

Art and Christianity meme

I've been tagged my Tim with this meme:
List an artwork, drama, piece of music, novel, and poem that express something of the essence of Christianity. 
I tag 
DDD III
Alistair  
P G McCullough
Maggie Dawn  
The vicar's wife




Artwork

This painting is contemporary by Daniel Bonnell and it is owned by the Saint George Cathedral, Jerusalem. It is oil on canvas. I think it is beautiful, the light, the baptism by water and Spirit, Christ's arms outstretched, prophetic of the cross.


Drama: The Lee Abbey Easter drama, around the grounds. Involves corporate feet washing, passover meal, the arrest of Christ in dark torch-lit grounds and the journey to the hill of three crosses. You become a part of the scoffing crowd, which feels profoundly awful, but you also travel to a small cave on the Sunday to find it empty but for the grave-clothes. This really brought it all very alive for my young children, Easter, 2008.



Music: Handel's Messiah. I sat on 'quiet day' in a church in Attenborough, Nottingham and flicked through the sheet music of this eighteenth century oratorio. I am not musical but I love to sing. My exposure to live performances of this oratorio are dimly recollected. I would love to hear it in a huge concert hall. It resonates with me since my Old Testament Prophets lecturer played it to us in class as he taught from Isaiah. He also enjoyed telling us how he once blasted it loudly in a queue on the motorway from his car windows on a hot July day for the benefit and spiritual edification of the surrounding traffic, and I smiled in recognition of something that I have a tendency to do too, although with me, it's more likely to be something 'New Wine' or 'Spring Harvest', being less cultured than my lecturer.


Novel: 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' which speaks as powerfully now as it did when it was first written, resonates with so many people adults and children and like God reaches us all on different levels at different times in our lives.


Poem:
Love by George Herbert




LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
   Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
   From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
   If I lack'd anything.

'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here:'
   Love said, 'You shall be he.'
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
   I cannot look on Thee.'
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
   'Who made the eyes but I?'

'Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame
   Go where it doth deserve.'
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?'
   'My dear, then I will serve.'
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.'
   So I did sit and eat.



I love this poem which reminds me of the prayer of preparation and affirms my position in Christ and has me remember myself as a brownie in church in my brown uniform, kneeling and clasping my hands together, so captured by the words 'not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs...'

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