Journeys

Martin Sheen journey's in The Way
Sometimes when I have to do routine, no thought required tasks in the studio, I pop a movie in to keep me motivated. Yesterday I watched, The Way starring Martin Sheen. It focuses on his character's journey on the El Camino de Santiago. Have you seen it? I've always enjoyed Martin Sheen's acting and he did not disappoint here as emotions ran the gamut while I laughed, cried and was awestruck by the scenery while cutting fabric for your new stoles.This movie is not necessarily a theological piece but one reviewer says he left the theater wanting to go on "a walk to find what Celtic Christians called the thin places … places in which God's presence is more deeply felt. A pilgrimage to … it didn't much matter where, as long as it brought me closer to God."

DuBose Conference Center, TN
While I'm dreaming of where my pilgrimage might be (I've always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail) I've been working on a talk I'll give for an adult Sunday School seminar in my home church. The series is entitled "Sacred Space" and I will present the opening session which will focus on "Church Architecture: Our Heritage." We're looking at sacred spaces basically since the Reformation. It's made me think once again about what our worship spaces say regarding our liturgical practices. Does the journey into worship allow for a gathering of community? Does the worship space allow for movement...processionals, coming forward to the Lord's table and liturgical dance for example. Does the space allow everyone to be active participants in worship? Does the placement of the font indicate that Baptism is a communal act? 

Whether your worship space is as simple as this outdoor space shown at left or something much more complex, try to see it with fresh eyes. Sometimes little things can make a difference. The movement of a piece of furniture (maybe the font), the removal of a too long used worship banner or where the reader of the scripture stands can draw attention to what the worship space is declaring about our faith and help draw us closer to God as we journey with Him.


Interestingly Image (a journal of literature and the arts) releases a movie list each year. This year they focused on the "Top 25 Road Films" --they're stories about journeys! Quite a few on this list I haven't seen and now I think I need an arts and faith discussion group to coincide with my viewing -- and maybe a few more mundane tasks so I can work my way through the list!