Here With Us Again

Imagine this!

You are here with us again,
washing over us,
lapping at our feet:
a wave of pure joy,
bursting with bright flowers
wells up in our hearts,
equal parts
terror and remembrance;
anticipation and confusion.

Stand back,
catch your breath
and take a running leap
into the sea of love.

Words and Image by Diane Walker.

Theology Of Creativity

"I would suggest that the first step in reflecting on a theology of creativity is to understand that one of our fundamental creative acts is to create our conceptions of divinity. The tasks, then, of theology and the mission of the Church invite us to examine the concepts we create and how we carry out the call to be co-creators of goodness, truth, beauty, and holiness. Our ideas and thinking about God form the backdrop of all that we do and all that we create.

In the words of Miles Davis, one of the world’s greatest musicians: “I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life.”

Our faith in God rests on our belief that God is the Creator — the Uncreated Creator. As people interested in the power of creativity, we know deeply that we were created, are created, in the first place. And we believe we were created in the image of God.

I suspect that to be made in the image of God has to do with our ability to be rational, to be stewards of the earth, to represent God to each other. Called into covenant with God, the covenant could be read this way: I set before you life and death. Choose to create life, choose to create goodness, choose to create the beautiful, and choose to create the truth through the art of your actions."

Read it all
here. The article also comes with a soundtrack: Miles Davis, Blue in Green, which you can listen to here.

Words: The Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones

Image: Assumed Into Heaven by C. Robin Janning

It Is Happening

"That's really the surprise of Easter. We don't have to wait until we get to heaven to experience it. It is happening all around us.

But of course, the problem is that because it is not fulfilled at every moment, we don't see it because of what's going on in the world. There's a chance that we could miss it by simply not being attentive and aware to the possibilities of reconciliation and peace… "

Words: from Easter Moments by Robert Hansel and Renée Miller

Image: Icon by
Virginia Wieringa (based on an icon by The Rev. Peter Pearson in A Brush with God)

No Strings Attached

"Freedom is about choices: Freedom to choose less rather than more. It's about choosing time for people and ideas and self-growth rather than for maintenance and guarding and possessing and cleaning. Simple living is about moving through life rather lightly, delighting in the plain and the subtle. It is about poetry and dance, song and art, music and grace. It is about optimism and humor, gratitude and appreciation. It is about embracing life with wide-open arms. It's about living and giving with no strings attached."

Sister José Hobday in "Simple Living: The Path to Joy and Freedom"

Image: "The Artist's Garden" by Roger Hutchison

Enlighten Me

Enlighten me.
Help me to understand
that though I am unique
I am still just another leaf;
that though I am one
I am still one of many
and together we are One
even as You are One.

Remind me
that through this stalk from which I stem
runs the lifeblood of energy
that feeds us all;
which, when it cycles into me
then cycles back again
enriching all.

Keep me open,
that this pure divinity which is love
may flow freely.

Words and image: Diane Walker


"Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles
that seek no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry
of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift
woven around the heart of wonder."

John O'Donohue in "To Bless the Space Between Us"

Image: Photograph by
The Rev. Scott Fisher


Who can loosen
these chains that bind us,
ancient misunderstandings
set in stone?

Words & Image: Diane Walker


in humble mirrors
nature reflects and shares our
Easter redemption

Image: photograph by The Rev. Scott Fisher

Our Tree Of Life

"As Jesus spoke His last words on the cross, 'it is finished,' it did not seem like a proper ending for his narrative or life's work. Could it be that His words were filled with a sense of longing, visions that went beyond His death on the cross, hope that would restore humanity, a peace beyond human measure? As the story unfolds, beauty is revealed through brokenness, upon a cross-woven easel of man's own design, creating the possibility for a sequence of events beyond the grave. A saving grace remains beyond grief and sorrow, awaiting the resurrection of God's own design.

In consideration of Christ's generosity, I realize that there remains a greater calling in life. It is not enough to seek out audiences requesting that they make further sacrifices. Rather, as artists we should be the lens by which they see the value and beauty of the sacrifices they already make. As a reflection of the Creator upon the created, every artist has the potential to become a curator of the message of truth, which serves to resurrect the underlying hope within the audience of mankind."

Words: Ron Kelsey in An Easter Tribute at Makoto Fujimura's Refractions

Image: Tree of Life by John Collier

A Witness To Life

"When Jesus rises from the tomb, he says to Mary Magdalene in the garden, “Go and tell Peter and the others that I have gone before you into Galilee and I will meet them there.” The words are prophetic ones for us all. Jesus does not promise to meet the disciples in Jerusalem, at the center of power and profit, as an Establishment figure of either state or synagogue, as the vindicated and recognized one. No, the last act of Jesus is to lead the disciples to the Galilee, to the backwaters of Israel, to the hinterlands of the poor and dispossessed, to the forgotten and the oppressed ones. Where he had spent his public life on behalf of the forgotten one, he expects us to spend ours."

Words: Sr. Joan Chittister in Ideas In Passing

Image: Life Is Just Outside The Door by The Rev. Earnest Graham

This Is How

as Jesus is pulled
from his earthly tomb
this is how we arise

this new green growth
crawling from the gnarled wood
of our own crosses

as blades of grass
pushing through
the stony path

on Easter

Image: Diane Walker

Words: C. Robin Janning

Exile And Return

Yesterday we were connected. Shoulder-to-shoulder, hand-in-hand, we stood together, we knelt, and we wept.

You would think after Good Friday's pain and suffering, there would be some relief. No. We are alone, the altar is bare, and we carry the cross of exile.

Holy Saturday is about exile. We don’t know what will be revealed tomorrow.

The revelation of return and the end of exile.

Image: "Crucifixion" by Barbara Desrosiers

Words: C. Robin Janning

This Jesus

Like many artists and photographers before me, I discovered this crucified Jesus beyond religion, through the lens of art and service.

This Jesus, I found, doesn’t leave. He stays with us and each day we decide if he will remain crucified, or come down from the cross to feed the poor, to shelter the homeless, to love the unloved, to walk in the world again.

(Note: The crucifix shown above sits on a side-wall in the sanctuary at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Plymouth, Michigan.)

Image and words: C. Robin Janning


Psalm 130*

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;

O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?

But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared.

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.

My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.

He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

*New International Version

Image: "Lament" by Connie Butler

This Faith

"When all of our own hopes have died, we still have this faith that seeks nothing for itself-not wisdom, not spiritual power, not rescue from suffering. 'Success' is not in its vocabulary. This faith seeks nothing but God, to whom it is willing to surrender everything-up to and including its own cherished beliefs about who God is and how God should act.

This faith is willing to sell all that it owns and bet the farm on one chance for union with God. This kind of faith, embodied by Jesus, is what makes him the Christ—God's own Being of Light, God's own Anointed One—whose self-annihilating love for us and for all creation is never more vivid than it is on this day.

Today, on the quietest day of the year, we have come to sit in the presence of one who was fully who God created him to be every day of his life—who loved God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his strength, and with all his mind—and who loved his friends so much that he stepped into the oncoming traffic of death in order to push them out of the way. He furthermore did it all with no more than the basic human equipment—a beating heart, two good hands, a holy vision, and some companions who could see it too—thereby showing the rest of us humans that such a life is not beyond our reach. Whatever else happens on Sunday, here is enough reason to call this Friday Good. Amen."

Image: "Christ Dies On The Cross" by Gerard Di Falco

His Concern Is For Them

Tears. Wailing. Daughters. Mothers. Grief. Women beat their breasts and mourn openly, for the Son of Man, but his concern is for them and their children in the days of woe yet to come.

Words: "Stations of the Cross" from King of Peace Episcopal Church.

Image: "Station 8" by John Giuliani

Veronica's Compassion

"Jesus' journey is at times brutal. He has entered into the terrible experiences of rejection and injustice. He has been whipped and beaten. His face shows the signs of his solidarity with all who have ever suffered injustice and vile, abusive treatment. He encounters a compassionate, loving disciple who wipes the vulgar spit and mocking blood from his face. On her veil, she discovers the image of his face - his gift to her. And, for us to contemplate forever." (From the Stations of the Cross at Creighton University, more here.)

Image: "Station #6: Veronica Wipes the Face of Christ" by Gerard Di Falco

Hurt And Betrayed

"God of Peace, help me to forgive those who hurt or betray me and strengthen me to be worthy of others' trust in me. Let your steadfast love and compassion flow through me that I may be your presence in this world."

Words and Image by
Kathrin Burleson from her The Way of the Cross.


We seek the sanctuary of liturgy and commemoration this week. We need these places, sanctuaries, to bring our pain and find our hope.

As artists we go about the work of creating sanctuaries, and in today's Morning Prayer Rite II (as published in The Book of Common Prayer) we read this prayer:

"O God, who by your Holy Spirit give to some the word of wisdom, to others the word of knowledge, and to others the word of faith: We praise you for the gifts of preaching through visual representation that you gave to your servants Albrecht Duerer and Michaelangelo Buonarroti, and we pray that your Church may never be destitute of such gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns, with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

Image: Sanctuary by Barbara Desrosiers

Mother Of Worlds

have mercy on us
as we begin this walk
with your son

Words and image by C. Robin Janning

Take Me

Take me, I cried:
Take me!

She doesn't know
another road into town;
take me!

I'd have gone another way,
no pomp and circumstance for me
I'd have shied at the blaze of trumpets.

And if I thought he'd come this way again,
I'd weave these waving grasses into palm fronds
and set them at his feet in welcome.

But it's too late now:
she never saw
the crucifixion in their eyes.

Words and Image by
Diane Walker.

Remember Again

"We are praying with great memories in our liturgy. There are scenes of violence, betrayal, surrender, and regret. We pray with the fidelity and trust with which Jesus walks towards his saving death.

We pray as well with the violence within and around us these days. Humanity is suffering from terrible insults to its being in Christ. We pray with our own sense of helplessness, as did his loving mother and even his friends who denied him and abandoned him. We are praying intensely with our desires to be freed again from the slavery of forgetfulness. We pray to remember again who Jesus is saying we all are by his life of faithful trust. We gather together to do the ancient rituals by which we are saved in our times." By Larry Gillick, S.J., in Daily Reflection, Creighton University. Read it all HERE.

Seen above: Altar Waiting for Palm Sunday by The Rev. Scott Fisher, St. Matthew's, Fairbanks.


"To be born is to be chosen. No one is here by accident. Each one of us was sent here for a special destiny...

This selectivity intimates a sheltering providence that dreamed you, created you, and always minds you."

Words by John O'Donohue in "Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom."

Image: "Inheritance" by Roger Hutchison