Come and See
Funerals are odd events. Normally, if you are going to invite all of your friends and family over, you have weeks or months to prepare—think of the resources called into play for most weddings. But for a funeral, the deceased might have left a few notes about Bible texts they’d like to be read or their favorite songs, but often there is very little put down about colors or flowers or who will attend and who might speak. Add the fact that you usually have to pull something together in days, not weeks or months, all while working through raw emotions.
Some years back, a biology professor gave a presentation at our church that included photos taken by the latest high-powered microscopes. The photos were amazing, but what I remember more was the awe in the professor’s voice as she described the complexities of God’s creation in the very, very small world she studied. Even though she’d taught for years, she acted as if she was seeing these splotches and patterns for the first time. Her presentation was a prayer of praise to the limitless creativity of our God.
Over the years in this space we’ve talked about inspiration—where and how and when we’re moved to make something new and fresh. For me recently, it was a something very old: the song “Not What My Hands Have Done,” LUYH 624, PsH 260 written in the 1860s by Horatius Bonar. There were fewer than twenty people at a staff retreat where this song was part of the morning’s opening worship.
At a 2018 Worship Symposium workshop, painter and calligrapher Matt Plescher (mattplescher.com) showed participants how to do brush calligraphy. With Plescher’s permission, his work “God is with us” is adapted here for an Advent/Christmas visual. His original art is available free of charge at viascriptura.com.