Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Media Connections for Second Sunday in Lent

Our texts for this second Sunday in our Lenten journey of connecting our stories to God's story are the stories of Abram from Genesis 12:1-4 and 15:1-6, and of Nicodemus from John 3:1-21. You can read the text to these here.

First, shameless plug:  Join us tonight as we begin our new Lenten book study of John Indermark's Genesis of Grace. At the church at 7pm--come even if you don't have a book!

Second, the new curriculum for which I am privileged to write has a very cool feature called "Media Connections." Each week, we provide for suggestions for teachers of ways they can use different forms of art and media to help children and youth engage the story from a different angle, or that can help them enter into the story more deeply. Finding media connections is honestly one of my favorite parts of writing sessions, so I thought that I might try offering you some media connections to our lectionary passages here on the blog--things you might want to look at, listen to, or ponder to begin opening your heart and mind to the stories you will encounter on Sunday. 

So here are some offerings for this Sunday, where we will look at two stories of people who encounter God in the darkness of night.

Consider these two modern art echoes of our stories: Peter Teekamp's "Old Man and Baby" and Richard Hook's "Jesus and the Businessman," alternately called "Jesus and Modern Day Nicodemus":

The wonderful Andrew Peterson song "In the Night," which though it does not name either Abram or Nicodemus tells the story of many others who lived through the darkness of night in scripture and connects their stories to ours:

The Night, written by 17th century poet Henry Vaughan and inspired by John 3:2:

The Night

      Through that pure virgin shrine,
That sacred veil drawn o’er Thy glorious noon,
That men might look and live, as glowworms shine,
         And face the moon,
    Wise Nicodemus saw such light
    As made him know his God by night.

      Most blest believer he!
Who in that land of darkness and blind eyes
Thy long-expected healing wings could see,
         When Thou didst rise!
    And, what can never more be done,
    Did at midnight speak with the Sun!

      O who will tell me where
He found Thee at that dead and silent hour?
What hallowed solitary ground did bear
         So rare a flower,
    Within whose sacred leaves did lie
    The fulness of the Deity?

      No mercy-seat of gold,
No dead and dusty cherub, nor carved stone,
But His own living works did my Lord hold
         And lodge alone;
    Where trees and herbs did watch and peep
    And wonder, while the Jews did sleep.

      Dear night! this world’s defeat;
The stop to busy fools; care’s check and curb;
The day of spirits; my soul’s calm retreat
         Which none disturb!
    Christ’s progress, and His prayer time;
    The hours to which high heaven doth chime;

      God’s silent, searching flight;
When my Lord’s head is filled with dew, and all
His locks are wet with the clear drops of night;
         His still, soft call;
    His knocking time; the soul’s dumb watch,
    When spirits their fair kindred catch.

      Were all my loud, evil days
Calm and unhaunted as is thy dark tent,
Whose peace but by some angel’s wing or voice
         Is seldom rent,
    Then I in heaven all the long year
    Would keep, and never wander here.

      But living where the sun
Doth all things wake, and where all mix and tire
Themselves and others, I consent and run
         To every mire,
    And by this world’s ill-guiding light,
    Err more than I can do by night.

      There is in God, some say,
A deep but dazzling darkness, as men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they
         See not all clear.
    O for that night! where I in Him
    Might live invisible and dim!

Finally, try counting the stars in this magnificent photo by NASA:

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