We live in a world that values productivity, results, and the bottom line. It’s the water we swim in. We dart about in search of plankton (or financial security or recognition or safety) to sustain us, while simultaneously evading danger lurking in the darkness. We’re busy. We’re focused. We don’t even know that we’re wet.
But what if we could step out of the cultural water onto the dry land of Truth?
Would we be surprised by the change in environment? Perhaps see the world more clearly?
How would we love, live, work, parent, create, and rest differently as a result?
Join us as we read and discuss the following essay by artist Makoto Fujimura. If you missed last week’s introduction, you can read it here. Consider this a four week virtual book club – only you don’t have to buy a book and you bring your own coffee. You may want to print off the essay in order to hi-light and make notes. Thanks for journeying with us – we’re glad that you’re here.
“In John 11, Jesus weeps. His tears, shed in response to Lazarus’ death and Mary and Martha’s grief, are full of embodied truth, beauty, and goodness. Why did Jesus weep? He delayed coming to Bethany “so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4), and, when He arrived, informed Martha that He is “the resurrection and the life” (v. 25). If He came to Bethany to show His power, the fact that He is indeed the Messiah with the power to resurrect the dead, why did He not simply wave His “magic wand” to “solve the problem” of the death and illness of Lazarus? There would have been an immediate celebration, and all the tears would have been unnecessary. Tears are useless, even wasteful, if you possess the power to cause miracles. Instead, He made Himself vulnerable, stopped to feel the sting of death, to identify with frail humanity, who struggled to know hope.” (Read the full essay here.)
- What ideas from the article resonate with you?
“Her nard spread and its aroma filled the room. It was an ephemeral act, one that she did not think of as ‘art’.”
- How could Mary’s extravagant (wasteful) act be considered art?
- Given the culture in which we live, what are the implications for you (and for me)?
“What we deemed as a waste, Jesus called the most necessary. Jesus wept.”
- What do you make of that? How is it hopeful?
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Join us next Wednesday as we read and discuss Fra Angelico and the Five Hundred Year Question.