In Christ a New Creation: One artist shapes a worship environment rich with meaning and beauty

In 1995, Natalie Lombard created the liturgical art for COLAM 95, the Conference on Liturgy and Music cosponsored by Reformed Worship and Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Throughout the week of the conference, she added elements to the worship space in the Calvin chapel. The final day, when all the elements were in place, everyone came to morning worship and sat beneath the stunningly beautiful mobile and canopy.

During morning worship that final day, she helped us see, really see, what was there, by declaiming the text found on thesepages. She didn't read these words; she declaimed them slowly while looking up. We all looked up, listened, looked, and began to understand more deeply that we were meeting in a place made rich with meaning and beauty.

In the beginning,
there was darkness.
Void.

From the vastness of his love,
God created in this void innumerable wonders.

The sun and moon shone resplendent at his command.
He also made the stars.

One star he saved, till in the fullness of time,
it would herald the birth of his incarnate Son by its light.

This Son was Jesus Christ.
He was the Light of the World.

We had sinned.
We marred—
we skewed God's creation.

In the vastness of his love for us,
Christ died for us.

The temple veil was torn apart.
By his blood we may enter the Holy of Holies.
Receiving him, we are made a new creation.

And at present we behold Christ only as through a veil.
He is pleased to spread his tent over us.
He who is pavilioned in splendor,
he delights to dwell in us,
the temple of the living God.

And for the rest of eternity,
when we see him face to face,
he will be the Light in the center
of the city of salvation
to which he calls us.

Natalie Lombard is art director for Celebration Banners, a custom-order banner business in West Chicago, Illinois.