Here is a question, can we find any beauty in the cross of Christ. This is the topic I'm reflecting on today. I'm trying to write a lecture that I've been asked to give at the end of the month in Prague. Its in the context of a conference looking at Liturgy and the theme is 'Beauty'. Its ionteresting to note that "Beauty" is a theme that seems to have had a bit of a renaisssance throughout a number of academic disciplines, from philosophy to science and indeed the theology of aesthetics is an area where people are finding themselves engaged.
I know that the medieval church certainly had a theology around beauty. Jonathan Edwards the American Purutan philosopher and theologian was deeply impressed wit the whole concept of beauty. He linked it oith the 'Glory' of God and he had a whole theological understanding of beauty in relation to holiness.
No doubt there is tension between the gospel as proclaimed by words and that described through the visual. Yet it seems to me that too much has been made of the difference. John of Damascus argued for the power of the picture to convey the gospel. While many within the reformed tradition including Barth argue for the supremacy of the word.
For me it is plainly obvious that we live in an image driven society. I think we need to rediscover the power and significance of using imagery in worship, be it through words that paint a picture or pictures that paint words and ideas. For me words are simply pictures: lines drawn on a page to convey an idea. Pictures are just more complicated and sometimes more colourgful lines. They too have a language and often the ideas they express would be limited if left to words alone. In Christ God became a man a walking breathing image of the Father.http://youtu.be/zgTivfwIZJQ
I've decided to talk about amongst other ideas the use of music and visuals in liturgy. I especially want to reflect on how we can use a variety of mediums in worship to help us all encounter more of the presence of God.
Have a look at this video its an invitation that could be used within a Communion liturgy to invite those present to come through the Cross Shaped Space and encounter the risen Christ.