The Bible is full of names. It’s full of genealogies and lists of people doing different jobs. Some of these names are hard for us to pronounce and many of us skip over these lists of names when we read the Bible because we find them boring and irrelevant. Eugene Peterson reminds us, however, that “the biblical fondness for genealogical lists is not a pedantic antiquarianism, it is a search for personal involvement, a quest for a sense of personal place in the web of relationships in which God fashions salvation.”(Eugene Peterson, ‘Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work’, P 107)
All of us need personal involvement in God’s story. All of us need a sense of personal place, a sense that who we are and what we are doing is crucially important, that we are not just ‘marking time’ on earth, that our existence matters. One of the most debilitating elements of lockdown has been that our sense of purpose has been drastically affected in a negative manner.
In the midst of all this, many people in the Dearne area and beyond have been using this time purposefully and creatively. They have been involved in the Dearne Churches Together Easter project ‘Whispers of Love’, making and decorating hearts to give out to our communities as a prophetic reminder involving 1054 hearts and reaching 9 care homes/ assisted living places that God loves us and that Easter marks the height of that love as Jesus died for our sins and rose again to bring us everlasting life.
I don’t know the names of all the people who have been involved in this project. God does. But in true Biblical manner, here is the list of names that I do know who have chosen to work with us to take God’s love in visible form to our communities and to remind everyone that they are loved by God. My heartfelt thanks to all who took this crazy dream to heart and turned it into a prophetic reality. My thanks to all for using their God-given talents and skills in so many different creative ways:
Painting (on wood, card, pebbles, glass pebbles)
Encaustic Art (hot wax painting)
Pupils & Staff at Sacred Heart Primary School
Children & Staff at Station House Community Association
Brian Nelson (Encaustic Art Plus)
Thank you to all, known and unknown to us, who contributed to this project and to all who are now busy making Pentecost doves of peace for our next Dearne Churches Together project!