Tuesday, March 11, 2014

lent collage 1: father, forgive them


"father forgive them (lent 2014, 1)"
mixed media collage (acrylic paint, gel medium, glue, vintage papers, image release paper, photocopies)
march 2014
8" x 10"
gregory a. milinovich

as i have in the past, i have decided to document my lenten journey this year with a series of collages that are are a response, or more accurately, a dialogue with our worship series through the season.  for this lent we are examining the final words of Jesus from the cross, as recorded in the four gospels, and so i will be making a collage dealing with each one.  

we began on sunday with a look at Jesus' wonderfully selfless words, "father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."  

mercy. 

here in the thick of his execution, with the ugliness of humanity in his face in every possible way, Jesus somehow found it in himself to respond with prayer, and not for himself, but for the very ones who were executing him: soldiers, religious leaders, political leaders, and sinners of every ilk and age.  

that means you and me.  

yes, we are sinners.  of course it isn't popular to talk about such things.  people hate to hear about their sin, and Christians are afraid of offending anyone by talking about sin, but to say that Christians talk too much about sin is like saying your doctor talks too much about health.  

if you went to your doctor with chest pains and and shortness of breath and a pain in your left arm, your doctor might suggest immediate testing to see what is going on with your heart, possibly even surgery.  you probably wouldn't respond by saying, "oh, you doctors are always so negative, focusing on what is wrong instead of the positive.  don't be such a downer!  this is why nobody likes doctors."  no, you would likely be so grateful that the doctor caught the problem in time and was able to recommend a remedy.  

the same is true in christianity.  if we focus on sin, it is only because we won't to point to the remedy.  the remedy is the incredibly mercy of Jesus, made evident by him as he died on the cross, praying for your very soul.  

i don't know about you, but that feels enormously powerful and important.  it begs the question, at least for me, "what am i going to do about it?"  will i dare to believe that i am lovable and forgivable?  will i risk receiving God's mercy and grace, even if i feel like i don't deserve it?  will i follow God's example and learn to forgive myself and others?  or will we choke on our pride and our stubbornness?  father, forgive us.  

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