Ordinary Time: Proper 7

The Good Way: South to the Sea by Michelle L Hofer — mixed media on basswood panel, 12 x 12 inches, 2021.

June 19, 2022 Lectionary Texts — Year C
I Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a
Psalm 42 and 43
Isaiah 65:1-9
Psalm 22:19-28
Galatians 3:23-29
Luke 8:6-39

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In the roar of Your waterfalls, ancient depths surge, calling out to the deep. All Your waves break over me; am I drowning? Yet in the light of day, the Eternal shows me His love. When night settles in and all is dark, He keeps me company— His soothing song, a prayerful melody to the True God of my life. — Psalm 42:7-8

Last fall I created a small series of landscapes titled The Good Way. In essence, these images were a way for me to explore the the dualities of life, our experiences, our world. What I mean by this is exemplified in the texts for today:

  • feeling alone and feeling God near
  • words of assurance and words of warning/judgment
  • crying out for help and rejection of help offered
  • rejoicing in what Jesus has done and freaking out over the same

South by the Sea is a dual tone landscape. Some of it is in full color while other places are monotone done in charcoal and black ink.
You will also spot a raven if you look closely enough. We are accustomed to seeing these creatures as bad omens… something is going to happen and it ain’t gonna be good. I’ve done a lot of art centered on ravens especially Elijah’s raven — the raven bringing Elijah bread in the desert. Ravens hold a lot of personal symbolism for me. They represent Divine provision in our most vulnerable times. So while they may signal a treacherous path ahead, they also serve as a sign of encouragement.
The message I most wanted to convey with South by the Sea and the Good Way Series is this:
The good way is more often than not the path fraught with difficulty and doubt… but we are not without hope and God’s assurance.

Practicing Visio Divina:

  1. View the artwork
    What do you see?

    Note shapes – color – style – movement
    What stands out for you?
    What are you curious about?
    What questions do you have?
    Hold back any feelings – judgments – opinions
  2. Read the accompanying scripture and look over the artwork again
    What connections do you make?

    Between the image and text?
    What is coming to mind from your own experience?
    What feelings are rising in you?
    Are you uncomfortable with something?
    There are no right or wrong answers
  3. Read the scripture again and explore the artwork a third time
    What do you hear?

    What is God saying to you?
    What do you wish to speak to God?
    What blessing or prayer is rising in you?

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