This does not work as effectively on a blog post, so I have made it available below to download and print off. If you want to read it first and let it sit with you, consider what follows.
Let’s read the following passages in the artist method. Draw the picture of a heart beside what speaks to your heart. Draw a light bulb beside what new thought or idea comes to you. Draw a hand beside the action you want to take. Then take a moment to reread the passages and consider what you want to share with someone else.
The first passage is from Joel chapter 3, which takes place in the backdrop of disastrous plagues and God’s judgment and punishment at the hands of invading foreign nations. (800-900’s BC)
Joel 3:9-11 New International Version:
9 Proclaim this among the nations:
Prepare for war!
Rouse the warriors!
Let all the fighting men draw near and attack.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
and your pruning hooks into spears.
Let the weakling say,
“I am strong!”
11 Come quickly, all you nations from every side,
and assemble there.
Bring down your warriors, Lord!
The second passage is from Micah chapter 4, where the prophet is speaking to people who are under attack. He is speaking of a messianic time of judgment and justice to come. (700’s BC)
Micah 4:2-5 New International Version:
2 Many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
3 He will judge between many peoples
and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
4 Everyone will sit under their own vine
and under their own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid,
for the Lord Almighty has spoken.
5 All the nations may walk
in the name of their gods,
but we will walk in the name of the Lord
our God for ever and ever.
The third and final passage that we will read, from Romans chapter 5, is Paul’s letter to those living in Rome. (50’s AD)
Romans 5:1-5 New International Version:
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
End with: A Prayer Seeking God:
teach us to seek you,
and reveal yourself to us
when we seek you.
For we cannot seek you unless
you first teach us,
nor find you unless
you first reveal yourself to us.
Let us seek you in longing,
and long for you in seeking.
Let us find you in love,
and love you in finding. O Jesus Christ our Lord.
-Saint Ambrose of Milan, (340 – 397 AD)