Skip to main content

new collage for lent (5th in a series)

"lent 2014: i thirst"
mixed media collage on stretched canvas
acrylic paint, pages from a bible, marker, glue
8" x 10"
gregory a. milinovich

here is the latest effort to result from my lenten discipline this year.  as in recent years, i committed to making something rather than giving something up during lent, and it happens to be that i am making a collage each week to correspond with each of the seven last sayings of Christ (which also happens to be what our sermon series is at catawissa avenue umc).  it is, of course, extra work for me during lent, but it is good for my spirit to carve out some space (time) each week for this form of expression.  i have to make it part of my to-do list, but once i'm there, in my art room, with paint all over my hands and glue all over everything, with limitless possibilities, i'm filled with peace.  

this week, i did something very different for me....i painted!  i mean, i often use paint in my work, but usually in an abstract way.  for this particular saying, i wanted something simple that conveyed the idea i was looking for, and i wasn't figuring out how to do it with bits of paper. so i decided to try and and paint an empty glass.  it is one of our glasses, from our house.  i am not overly pleased with the way it turned out, but at least you can tell what it is!  

in worship we discusses some various possibilities for what Jesus might have been saying when he said, "i thirst," including the most obvious one: he was simply thirsty.  but he also may have been referring to psalm 22, or 69, both of which are referenced in this collage.  or, he may have been referring to something he commonly talked about: his cup of suffering.  several times in the stories about his life, his biographers have him talking about his cup of suffering, including that famous scene in the garden when he is sweating blood about his impending crucifixion, and he nearly begs God to take this cup from him.  but on the cross, when all the suffering is finally about to end, he cries out, "i thirst."  was he simply thirsty?  or was he indicating that his cup of suffering had finally been drained?  it is, at least, an interesting question.  

regardless, though, there are many who are still thirsting all around us everyday.  neighbors and coworkers.  people walking down the street.  people waiting with us in the waiting room.  in line.  in traffic.  everywhere.  and they are dying of thirst.  Jesus had talked about this, too, when he said that when you offer a drink to one of these thirsty people, you are actually offering a drink to him.  that's how it works.  physically and spiritually.  we are called to be thirst-quenchers: to offer real, clean, fresh water to those who don't have it, and to show that there is a living water that flows from a deeper well.  that water fills your soul and truly quenches your truest, deepest thirst.  

jesus is thirsty.  in the faces of your day.  how will you offer him a drink?  


Popular posts from this blog


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 …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …