Friday, January 19, 2018

Ash Wednesday Is Coming

My thoughts on hurricane wreckage has left me thinking of Ash Wednesday.  I've also been doing a lot of scrubbing the dust away as I've been cleaning and sorting recently.  I know that I'm wiping away the detritus of stars, but it's still astonishing how much dust there is. 

It seems to regenerate.  We're shedding dust continuously, but we don't die immediately.  Is it time to retire the metaphor of dust for Ash Wednesday?

I'm not really suggesting that we do so.  But it is good, in this time before Ash Wednesday, to consider what metaphors we will use.

As I've decorated the chancel for the Baptism of our Lord, I've thought about past altarscapes and chancel decorations.  Some churches I've been part of have used the Christmas tree to create a rugged cross.

My current church uses fake trees (don't judge!), so we can't use that.  The most startling change to the chancel that my pastor ever did involved a stark, tree-like thing, with empty branches.

For Easter, we made origami birds, which transformed those branches.

Here's a different shot of the chancel:

He's also used battered sandals in his altarscapes.  We use a lot of burlap in our decorating.

 Some years, we have a variety of cactus plants.

I have a vision of an moving hurricane wreckage into the chancel area, but that's not really practical.  Still, as I drive by trees bent over from the storm, I have a vision.  It won't work for church, but it makes me think of possible art projects for Lent.  Stay tuned!

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