Yesterday we kicked off our new series called The Divine Commodity by looking at the person of Vincent Van Gogh. Most people when you mention Van Gogh the 4 things that they mention are Starry Night, he went "crazy", cut his ear off, and committed suicide.
But Van Gogh also had a rocky relationship with the church vacillating between devotion to Jesus and His Kingdom by being a missionary to miners, and fighting the institutional church of his day. We see this in his words, "“He has sent me to preach the Gospel to the poor”, That God of the clergymen, he is for me as dead as a doornail,” and called himself “no friend of present-day Christianity." And finally, "“When I have a terrible need of-shall I say the word-religion, then I go out and paint the stars.”
We talked through two of his paintings together. Starry Night and the Church at Auvers. We then read 4 Scriptures (Genesis 12:1-3, Jeremiah 29:1-7, Matthew 28:16-20, and Acts 2:42-47). We begin to wonder together and use our imagination to ask questions like "What would Van Gogh's art be like if he encountered a church that sought to be a blessing to the world, and sought the peace of the city? What would his art look like if he encountered a church that sought to make disciples that make disciples? What would his art look like if he encountered a church that shared life together. And then we set the community loose to imagine just that, by using crayons and colored pencils, to reimagine Starry Night and Church at Auvers in light of these Scriptures and Core Values.
Below you'll find some of the reimagined art work that was created as well as other pictures from the day.