Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Visual Art in Worship

Byzantine Icon of the Cursing of the Fig Tree
Reportedly 40-60% of people learn visually. Several Sunday's ago I saw this live out in worship. My home congregation sometimes uses fine art on the bulletin cover to connect to the liturgy of the day. We happened to sit down behind a family with two young boys. As we all got situated, I realized the mother and one son were talking about the bulletin cover art. It took everything in me for my former art educator soul not to squeal with delight. Inside the cover is a brief description of the art. This was not written for a five year old but the mother was breaking it apart and the son was pointing out components of the visual and asking questions. 

Worship commenced and we all settled into the rhythm. But then the visual made a connection to the Word! The gospel was being read and the child in front of me heard the words "fig tree" and despite his wiggling and seemingly not paying attention he was making a connection and nudged his mother to affirm that he knew!  I wanted to do cartwheels down he aisle! Hooray for these parents for bringing their children to church. God bless them for not dumbing the experience down and including them as best as they could.  And thank you God for showing us in your Word many examples of visuals, color, and textiles being used to help teach us your story.

I have always maintained that visuals like the work we do at Carrot Top Studio aren't essential for a relationship with our Lord or for worship. But I am thankful we have them. 

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