03 / autumn issue

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CULTIVATING

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Many steps of the cultivating practices here are internal. They are personal, private and individual. Reading. Seeing. Listening. Tasting. Practicing. Praying. We do these alone or in small clusters. But like cultivating a garden where so much of the effort is unseen but the outcome is made to be seen, all spiritual disciplines lead from the individual heart to the soul of community. The Gospel of Christ was never meant to kept to oneself. It has always been meant to be taken out into the world – the beautiful, dangerous, hungry world – to be shared at whatever cost. We begin in private, but we are called to end in public. We create and cultivate in our hearts and homes first, but in time we are called to leave our safe havens and take our treasure out into the open ways. Going is the step of faith that is the expression of the maturing believer’s life cycle as artists, and as human beings. We take the treasure held in our jars of clay and we enter the paths to which we were called before the world was made to meet those for whom that treasure is meant to be shared. That is the art of the Lord at work.

“Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

~ Matthew 28.19-20

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“The journey homewards. Coming home. That's what it's all about. The journey to the coming of the Kingdom. That's probably the chief difference between the Christian and the secular artist--the purpose of the work, be it story or music or painting, is to further the coming of the kingdom, to make us aware of our status as children of God, and to turn our feet toward home.”

~ Madeleine L’Engle

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