Treasures (Proper 14C)

Isaiah 1:1, 10-20
Instead of focusing on what God does not want (sacrifice and solemn assemblies), focus on verse 17, which describes what God does want. Take out a piece of paper and with pencil divide it into four quadrants for the phrases “seek justice,” “rescue the oppressed,” “defend the orphan,” “plead for the widow.” Find images that represent each of those phrases and collage them into their quadrant. Either stamp or hand-letter the phrase along the outside edge of the quadrant to create a border. When you’re done add “Learn to Do Good” in the center to tie all the quadrants together.

Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23
One of my favorite Hebrew words is “shema” (שמע), which can be translated as “hear,” “listen,” “understand,” and “obey.” In Christianity, we tend to always translate it as “hear.”  In verse 7, play around with the alternate translations in your head. Then download a PDF of שמע and write your thought around the outlined letters. When you’re done color in the letters.

Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
In the first verse, Paul says faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  However, there are other meanings of the word faith. After reading those take out a large sheet of paper (11×14 if you have it) and a few different colored pencils or pens and write sentences that begin “Faith is …” Feel free to start with Paul’s statement or the definitions from dictionary.com. When you’re done, trim the paper so it contains your most original thoughts on faith. Then using a large stencil or stamps add the word “Faith” in the center.

Luke 12:32-40
This is less an art project than a discernment exercise. Find a small treasure chest or small plain purse (linen, canvas or muslin) that can be decorated. Think about your life and what it is that you treasure (or who you treasure). Put photos of the people in the container or write on slips of paper what it is you treasure. Try to think beyond “stuff” to the time you spend doing things or the little moments of the day you treasure. You might even write “creative time” on one of the slips. Place the container where you see it often and occasionally open it and re-examine your treasures.

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