Skip to main content

2011 lent collage 5: purple

this week in church we looked at the way the roman cohort of soldiers mocked and tortured Jesus prior to his crucifixion.  as i reread it, i could only see the twisted laughter on the face of the soldiers (and all humanity, really).  i can only see the juxtaposition between the broken face of God, dripping with sweat and blood, and the twisted sick grin of humanity, ironically beating the humanity out of the only one who could love humanity through it all.  i imagine hearing the soldiers laugh as they make a crown of thorns and a scepter of reeds and beat him around the face and head with it.  and the scene, to me, is colored purple with the robe of the fake coronation.  when love came...when our king came, the best we could do was treat him to a fake coronation full of whips and thorns. 

"and this is how we know what love is:  that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners"

i know that this is a dark topic: the violence of the romans and the way it gets repeated in the holocaust and the crusades, in rwanda and in yugoslavia, and in every age and every place in big and small ways.  the ugliness of this story reminds us of our own ugliness - the ugliness in each of us, and how we desperately need a savior.  and so while it is hard to take an honest look at ourselves and recognize our own faces in the mocking soldiers, we must do so if we are to really grasp the love Jesus demonstrates, and if we are really going to see our need for such a saving love. 

"lent 2011:purple"
mixed media collage on canvas
april 2011
gregory a. milinovich

hit the "keep reading" button to see some closer images revealing some of the details of the collage. 





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

#thoughtsandprayers

i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

vote. and pray. but do not be afraid (the King is alive).

i'm not sure how many americans right now are feeling optimistic about the government.  i know i'm not.  in fact, while i didn't live through the civil war or anything, i have to think that faith in our elected leaders - indeed the whole system of electing them in the first place - is at one of its lowest points.  i just don't have a great deal of confidence in those individuals who have been elected, or in those who want to be.  i find myself slipping at times into what feels like a swamp of apathy: sinking, to be sure, but not sure that i care enough anymore to do much about it.  i see this attitude all around me: in conversations, on social media, and in popular culture.  perhaps there is no more clear indication of our nation's view of the government than this current election season, when we would teeter on electing liars and thieves, crooks and clowns. 

which is why i was so startled as i sat down to read psalm 72 this morning. as i read the ancient song, i…