Worship Companion – June 6 2020

Worship Service – Sunday June 6 2020
It’s week two of out Worship Companion Blog! 
Time may be flying for some of us, while for others it continues to drag on. In either case, let us remember to be patient.
Isaiah 40:31
” But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Pause, take a moment to breath in and out, and read the verse above out loud.
Lord hear our prayer!
Themes for the Week:
Church Calendar – “Trinity Sunday” –
This Sunday is an annual reminder after the season of Easter and Pentecost of the 3-in-1 nature of God so perfectly expressed in His actions which we have been focusing on over the past weeks. We see the Son going to the cross, the Father ministering to him and effecting our salvation through the Son’s sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit marking and empowering all God’s new children of faith. These are not individual actions of three deities, though. Each one of the Trinity is present and active in each event. The mystery of the Trinity can be marveled at and studied. Most importantly, we can respond to the Triune God in loving relationship. Yet, we can never adequately explain it.
Anchor Texts: Gen 1:1-2:4, Psalm 8, 2 Cor 13:11-13, Matt 28:16-20
Message – Bringing Glory To God By Fulfilling His Purpose For Us
This theme is brought to life in the words of John is his “Revelation.” In the book of Revelation chapter 4 John describes his vision of Heaven where Christ is reigning. This scene highlights the “already / not yet” aspect of God’s reign. The vision was as true for John as it is for us today – God rules and reigns presently. Yet, we wait in eager expectation for the day God’s rule and reign will be known fully and completely, when everything is made new, and God is “all in all” (1 Cor 15:28).
Themes in Song
Message: Bringing Glory To God By Fulfilling His Purpose For Us
This song is likely new to many of you. Consider the words repeated “Yet not I, but through Christ in me.” There is nothing we can do for God that we can claim as our own good action originating with us – as the song says elsewhere “my life is wholly bound to [Jesus].” It is Jesus at work through us who brings glory to the His Father, and with him we can say, “Our Father…”

Themes for Kids (and Adults, too!)
Buck Denver does it again!

Themes in Art
You’ll have to forgive me, this was a good week for artwork. I’ve chosen several pieces for each theme because the comparisons between them could lead to some very fruitful thoughts and discussion. 

Joseph Louis Strater – An embroidered robe – 1950 – Vanderbilt Library)

The Holy Trinity is a painting by Nicoletto Semitecolo – 1370


Masaccio’s Holy Trinity – 1426

Notice in the three paintings above, the differences in the Father’s hands in relation to the Son’s. In Masaccio, the Father is described as “presenting” His son by one commentator (holding the cross). Compare this to Semitocolo, an older Greek painting which presents the Father’s and Son’s hands overlapped and their gaze directed outward at the same point. What different messages are these paintings communicating?
Notice the common form of representing the Trinity with the Father and Son having outstretched arms, their position to each other, and the Spirit as a dove sometimes between them, sometimes above them. What might that say about the painter’s idea of the Spirit’s role in the Triune relationship?
And one more about the Trinity below… Here the didactic (teaching) role in art in the pre-modern church is obvious. The “Logic Triangle” depicts the relations of the Trinity (corners: Pater – Father, Filius – Son, [Spiritus Sanctus], – Holy Spirit) the sides say “Non Est” or “is not,” yet each corner points inward to say “est” (is) Deus (God). This is one of only a few pieces of Art to depict a three-faced Christ to represent each person of the Trinity in one God.

The Holy Trinity (1570), Jeronimo Cosida

All but the last piece here depict an image of the Father. While the three-faced Christ may strike us as odd, it refrains from making an “image” of the Father (which some people interpret as not representing God in works of art). Instead, Cosida may be reinforcing that we know God through Jesus Christ. To us, God always looks like Jesus– God in the flesh. Do you think it is unhelpful to represent the Father in a painting? 
Message Theme:
Below are two depictions of the scenes in Revelation 4 and 5. I must say it is hard to find modern art inspired by Revelation that isn’t “corny.” The modern piece (first) captures a very common “ethereal” image of heaven in modern art. The second, from the year 1426 depicts a very different concept of Heaven, full of earthly images of new creation. Do you think one is more faithful to John’s vision? Why? What is the “point” of each painting? Where is your attention drawn and which one does a better job communicating the point of John receiving this vision from God?

Justin Sproles – From Revelation 4 (Youtube) (2018)


Hubert Van Eyck, “Adoration of the Lamb” – 1426 (Wikimedia)


Leave a Reply