Death & Incarnation
Last Thursday I attended one of my LivingRoom friends Michael's sculpture exhibition at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery. I really enjoyed his "re-creation". Michael is certainly a gifted artist / sculpturist.
As Michael has written in his program book, "The object is the incarnated, a paradox of the known and the unknown imaged forth. But how can this be? If a redemption is claimed, through the object, surely this is an assimilation known only by the hands of an idol-maker. Any hope of a transcending presence would be reduced into that of static materiality; an obvious and devious imitation."
I think the name "Vestiges" really suits the purpose of Michael's idea of the object as the incarnated, as the casket with the navigational star is a visible trace of something that once existed but exists or appears no more - "death!" Yet to me, the trace of divine presence reflecting through the remaining forms is truly an abstract idea, one that I need to continue to ponder to get a better and deeper understanding. Certainly Michael's sculptures have inspired me to reflect, and I am blessed to have this opportunity to think through the theology of incarnation with my own faith community. I would be interested to know Michael's heart-journey as he created the sculpture, and how the concept of incarnation has impacted him. I might interview him at some stage and report it here.
The concept of incarnation has been one that I've been grabbling with for a while. To me incarnation is to embody something in another (human or otherwise) form.The act where God united His Divinity with the human form of Jesus Christ is called the Incarnation. Many cultures (especially in the West) separate the sacred and the secular. We are called to be counter cultural. Incarnational living is a holistic way of life in which our entire being is shaped by God's kingdom.
It is not compartmentalised religion in which some space is allocated for God, with the majority of our life being run on our own terms. It is not segregated living, in which we remove ourselves from the rest of society. It is not holding mission meetings in tents, church services in warehouses, or trying to attract people to us. Incarnational living is being Jesus with skin on to all sorts of people, in all sorts of environments [mostly theirs] and in all sorts of ways.
What do you reckon?