Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Art Museum: identity found

Recently our class participated in a inspiring tour of BYU's Museum of Art. Our "tour guide" was a wonderful woman by the name of Rita Wright. I was very impressed with the way that she used questions, ideas, and stories to enlarge our vision. I found that as she helped us enlarge our vision, personal revelation came.... and this art began not just a work of art nailed to a wall ... but instead it was a glimpse into the soul of man.

As we moved from painting to painting Rita would continue to ask us questions such as "what emotion does this art evoke, how does this represent Christ, etc." As she asked these questions I was given direction to begin pondering and exploring my mind and feelings. As I did so thoughts and feelings came that I had not thought of before. I started seeing myself in the paintings. For example, there was one painting that was a woman holding a perfectly baked bread loaf. At first glance I thought it was a nice painting but had the desire to pass it by because it did not strike my first glance. Yet, As she kept us in front of this art piece I found myself in the woman. This woman was noticeably tired from her days work, yet with great posture and presentation bestows the bread to the audience. This is perhaps how I/we are everyday. Every day I personally strive and work for an goal, a person, or a desire. Most of the time I am tired, a little stressed, but persistent. I want so badly to do my best, give my all, and present it well. I strongly believe in sacrificing for what we desire most. This painting became a representation of that ideal to me.

As we moved on through the Art museum we were also stopped in front of a wall sculpture. The scene it portrayed was of a man in the crucifix position ( undoubtedly Christ himself) , who has a rod exuding from his finger. Connected to the rod was the hand of another man. Our tour guide gave us some ideas of what this could represent. Yet, we cannot be sure if the man is jumping up to hold on to the rod, or letting go and falling. As I looked at this sculpture I yet again found myself inside of it. The rod spoken of vanishes as it gets closer to the finger of Christ. This I interpreted as follows. We must hold on to the rod in order to be led to Christ. Yet, as we get closer to Christ the rod disappears ( kind of a walk in the dark , faith idea) and then we see Christ himself. Therefore this man who is on the rod I see as me. A person who has been trying to faithfully hold on to the rod, yet feels the rod disappearing and feels fear because of the unknown. Yet just like the sculpture…all I need to do is look towards the Savior and he will catch us.
Art is one of the most powerful tools that can bring us to Christ. How wonderful!:)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Words: the carrier of our faith

John 1:1-5
1 IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

This scripture is perhaps one of the most famous scriptures in the Bible. It is so famous that it has been arranged into many different songs. In fact it was one of the earliest Christian songs to be sung. There are more verses/words, yet, I would like to focus on the first five. It is interesting to see that the Word is referring to a being, or in other words, Christ. Why would Christ be referred to as the Word? While pondering this I reflected on the purpose and use of words in our lives today. In the dictionary it defines words as the following, “Words are a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning.” As I read this I was hit by the words representation and carrier of meaning. We cannot see God, yet Christ can. Christ is our representative to the Father. His very body is the vehicle by which we have been made free from our sins IF we will repent and change. Everybody’s life has meaning. We determine everyday what our individual meaning and purpose is. Every time we repent and change this meaning changes because we are changing our vision, our thoughts, our wants, and our perspective to that of Christ’s. He then “carries” all of who we are, makes us perfect, and presents us to the Father. He literally is our form of communication with Heavenly Father.
A common old phrase goes like this, “my word is my bond.” This implies that whatever one chooses to say, they are choosing to do. If I say I will be somewhere at a certain time, I will. If I say I like something, I do. Basically anything we say is true and thereby turns into action. Today this principle has been disregarded and therefore there are liars, cheaters, back stabbers, and a lot of people who speak a lot and do very little. Anything that our Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ says is true and therefore is cultivated or acted upon. This is why “all things were made by him and without him was nothing made.” He said create earth, and it happened, he said let there be light, and there was. I hope that perhaps I may be so true to my word that I make life happen instead of watch it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Life Lessons from His death: The Book of Matthew

When the world thinks of Jesus Christ what does it think? While many will recall his miracles and teachings, many more will remember His death. The sign of the cross has become a common symbol for those who worship and believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior. While a symbol may create mental images which cause us to reflect, it is not until we delve into the Bible accounts of His death that we really can begin to understand it. One such account is found in the book of Matthew.
The account of Matthew demonstrates the evils of money. We cannot be sure why Judas turned Christ in, yet, we know that for this devilish act of hypocrisy he received 30 silver pieces. This is the same amount that then was used to buy a field, which became known as the “field of blood.” This detail added by Matthew is one of uniqueness. This example of betrayal still continues on today. Many people will do anything for money, including selling others or oneself. How horrible! Yet, as we continue to read Matthew he does not focus on this. Instead he focuses on the fact that each hypocrisy and horrible thing that happens to Christ are all manifestations of His divine calling. Many times Matthew tells us that what happened “fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet.” Perhaps this is why He allowed himself to feel the pain that in reality through His power could have easily chosen not to feel. Perhaps this is why He endured. He knew who He was. He knew for what purpose He was living and dying. The scriptures say He “held his peace.” I believe that in reality He did hold his peace. No one could disturb Him. He was solid and determined in what He was accomplishing.
As Christ was being tortured we are not told of Him using any type of restraint. Matthew simply tells us of the treacherous things that were done to him. This I take as strength. If Christ resisted, yelled, kicked etc. I am sure they would have put this in the account. Yet, Christ was able to control Himself and His natural reactions. As I thought about this I have become more determined to become this way; to be able to control our natural reactions.
The one expression He did use and was recorded was when He was on the cross in the dark. He cried “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me.” This plea exemplifies His love of the Father and His depth of pain. Christ had always had His Father there to help and guide Him. Yet, in order to feel the pain of all men God left Him alone for a little bit. As we reflect on this plea, let’s remember anytime we might have called out for our parents. Perhaps when we fell off our bike or when we were being hassled by our siblings. We call on them for support and love. Our Savior also called to His Father for support. I know that Heavenly Father lives. His son is Jesus Christ. They are 2 different and distinct individuals. Because our Heavenly Father loves us soo much He sent His son to die for us. I know this is true. I know it through reading the Book of Mormon and prayer. If you will read and pray you will also know, and have a deeper relationship with our savior Jesus Christ.