Thursday, March 27, 2014

Media Connections for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

Our stories for this week are stories of seeing--two of my favorites (okay, I have a lot of favorites, but these are definitely among them!)--1 Samuel 16:1-13 and John 9:1-41, which can be read here--and I strongly encourage you to give them a read, so that hearing the story versions of them on Sunday (and engaging the connections below) can be even more meaningful.

When I was reading the stories for this week, the first memory that came up for me was of our Music and Arts camp back in 2011, when our kids memorably acted out the story of Samuel anointing David--the youngest of all his brothers, one everyone overlooked--to be king. I went back through the archives and found these great pictures of the "brothers" lined up, "Samuel" anointing "David," and the Spirit descending on young David. There is power in telling the story ourselves, with our own bodies!

I also connected these stories quickly to a song I listen to a lot when I feel like I am having a hard time seeing the world and others as God sees it--a song that is really a prayer. I encourage you to give it a listen--"Give Me Your Eyes," by Brandon Heath:

If you're into poetry, here is a lovely and thought provoking offering from David Whyte's book Songs for Coming Home, entitled "The Opening of Eyes"(1984):

That day I saw beneath dark clouds
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.

It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing
speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.

Finally, I came across a really wonderful quote from late 19th century French artist Paul Gaugin: "I shut my eyes in order to see." As you consider what this might mean, try engaging a couple of famous works by the painter below. What do you see in these? What do you see in them when you shut your eyes?

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