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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. 


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