Skip to main content

new collage: lent 2, 2012 - the way of the cross


"lent 2 - 2012: the way of the cross"
mixed media collage on stretched box canvas (acrylic paint, found papers, vintage papers, glue)
gregory a. milinovich
march 2012


 so here is part 2 of my lenten collage series, done on small canvases that involve working on the front and the four sides of the canvas.  in our lenten journey at catawissa avenue umc this year we are looking at the paradoxes of our faith, and for tthe second week of lent we looked at the symbol of the cross.  even though it is a symbol that we see mostly in gold and silver, worn around necks and used to decorate ornate altars, this is ultimately a symbol of execution.  if we allow it to, it calls to mind images of death and brokenness, suffering and pain.  it is a harsh and potent symbol. 
and yet, as awful a symbol as it is, Jesus calls us to take up our cross.  so the cross isn't just some ugly blot in our rearview mirror, but a very critical part of our present and future.  without the cross, we have no path to life.  Jesus said that if you want to find your life, you have to lose it, but if you lose your life - if you are willing to loosen your death grip on it - then you will really live.  it truly is a paradox, but it is unexplicably true, too.  when we cling to our own lives, we stifle and suffocate ourselves, like trying to possess a precious plant by covering it with a barrel so no animal or element can get to it.  it will soon die. 

but if we are willing to give ourselves away in love to God and to others, then we begin to truly live in ways we wouldn't have otherwise expected.  i tried to visually express this in this collage with the images of the closed fist and the opened hands, separated by the cross.  as hard as it is at times, and as counter-intuitive, i want to live with open hands, giving my life to others that i might really learn how to live it fully.  i want to have the courage and the endurance to take up my cross and follow Jesus. 

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…