We had planned to gather in person for a service of Ashes & Communion, however, with our Michigan Weather we ended up in the midst of an ice storm and pivoted to worship online. If you missed Ash Wednesday, this kicked off our series for Lent – Seeking: Honest questions for a deeper faith.
We begin in this worship with the question – Is this the fast I choose?
Catch up on worship with the player below.
Artist Statement for this week’s Art Piece
don’t look up
by T. Denise Anderson
Inspired by Isaiah 58:1-12
Oil on canvas
I love portraiture because I believe there is something deeply profound about our faces and what they can communicate. Few things are more beautiful to me than the shapes and shadows created in our faces
by directional light. The pieces I have offered for this Lenten series attempt to show the drama that light and darkness create together on the human visage. Because I’m a person of color, I am careful to acknowledge how scripture’s preference for light over darkness has historically been used against darker-skinned peoples. Therefore, I do not subscribe to a light/dark dichotomy that suggests one is preferable
to the other. I believe light and dark work together to frame a specific part of the picture that needs our attention the most. In each of my pieces, light is coming from a specific direction and cooperates (not
competes) with darkness to spotlight something. The Isaiah text prophesies to a community preoccupied with religious observance that draws the gaze “upward” to God, but neglects the people and matters that are most important to God. God is not calling for fasts and religious rituals that only focus heavenward. As the community has focused on things above, they persist in injustice below. The people have exalted themselves above their kindred and wondered why God has not responded to them. Meanwhile, God is shining light on what they’ve neglected below—that is to say, their own community. The person depicted here is fixing their gaze upon a light source that is just below and to the side of them. This is an invitation to stop elevating one’s worship and oneself above one’s siblings and peers, for it is there that God may be found. —Rev. Denise Anderson