What do Bill & Teri Drake (and an AWESOME team), 26 Students, 3 Artistic Disciplines, 12 nations, and 90 days all have in common?
Gathering here in the middle of Italy, we all arrived safely, and are beginning the journey of "Living Beautifully Together" for the next three months. The opportunity to be in such a Creative Community is not only awesome, but so fulfilling as we get to participate in the missional discipleship of incredible artists from all over the world!
We also believe strongly in the Body of Christ, and that we are never more "god-like" than when we are in united community, for our triune God is in a sense a community as well! The opportunity to live in transparency, authenticity, integrity, and humility speaks every bit as much as any artwork we do, and when it comes to pouring into artists who we want to incarnate the truths of Christ into their world-views and artworks, we are totally committed to 'walking the talk'.
It's also a great encouragement when you discover that God has been here in the Body of Christ since at least 700 AD, and most likely long before that. We found a ruin just down the road, San Giovanni (St. John's), and it is obvious to anyone who goes there that our fellow-followers of Christ back then knew exactly where to build something for maximum beauty and effect! WOW!
And I guess that would be the main point here for the first blog of this three month journey -- Beauty -- Beauty in Brokenness, Beauty in Longevity, Beauty in Creation, and Beauty in Community.
'Beauty is the reflection of the eye of God'
...and in that, we get further glimpses of His Glory (Psalm 19). We are aware that we are so-not-perfect, and are so becoming more and more aware of the growth process He has us in: exchanging us from "glory to glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18).
And these experiences change our lives forever - we are a part of a much larger story that has been going on for a LONG time, but it is time to take the baton, and take our place in the race set before us; we are creating as part of a larger creation that was launched by the ultimate artist eons ago, and yet He meets us in our humble offerings and plays with us, paints with us, dances over us, and fills us with more that we can then give back to Him; and we are together in this - not isolated, not stalwart individual artists, but an interdependent Body of Christ whose mission is to know Christ and make Him known where we are, for so much of His beauty comes from those who will choose to live beautifully together in Him.
We are staring our journey together - hope you can join us for it! Blessings!