The Work of the People

DEC 17, 2015 - Visual Liturgy

Nativity Abstract - Angles and a Holy Night

Nativity, Abstract

by Kelly Ann Hall

Angels are not human, although they can portray themselves as such. They are ministering spirits, and do not have bodies like humans. As God’s messengers, they had the honor of announcing the Jesus’s arrival to shepherds and sheep. I had not given a lot of thought to Angelic creatures before this, I mean, nothing past the usual images of winged baby cherubs or majestic Arch Angels that one would typically see. I asked several friends what they imagined it could have been, for the most part it was much like what you would experience in High Church settings, a glorious Hallelujah!

After attending a Christmas choral performance of a high school choir. During Carol of the Bells I was struck three times by the vibrations of their layered, unified voice. Three times their sound rippled my skin and brought tears to my eyes. I watched their breath, the expanding lungs. Then it hit me, Angels don’t have bodies. It really sunk in. What sort of sound were they producing? They didn’t inhale or exhale…they had no need to…was their herald more like a hum, or like an eastern singing bowls or a meditative “Ohm.” 

Throughout the season, we have been presenting this abstract expression of the Nativity. It’s “abstract” because the hope is that as you read these pieces you would find yourself in their story.

draw a deep breath

hum as you
get present.

repeat as you like,
composing alongside choirs of angels
your own hallelujah.

Angels, and a Holy Night

A multitude,
A message,
A magnifying, most brilliant Light—
          “Heaven and Earth—Come and see!”

Levels of frequency, Elohim
Intention of Voice, Adonai
One holy resonance reverberating a glorified El Shaddai.

Blast the trumpets!
Sleeper, awake!

HaShem draws back curtains of night;
          we, as guides, assemble to behold the sight
I AM-With-Us became I AM-With-You,
          Yahweh, Immanuel, embodied Truth!

Gather and listen, see and proclaim;
Miracle of miracles, much bigger than a name!
          “Strike up the sound! It’s time to announce!
                    Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace is what they can pronounce.”

Unbelievable, but here he is!
Undeniable, the glow about his cheeks.
Will they unite in vision? Will they sing along?
Pick up their measure of his Earth-song…

Speak Love to the stranger, hate to none
          offer peace and comfort to everyone!
Give rest to the weary, opportunity to the poor,
          value all life, make room for so much more!

To the highest heights of the universe, glory to God!
          And on earth, peace among all people who bring pleasure to God!

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We believe there is an alternative narrative to the prevalent narrative of scarcity and fear. We believe God is moving and is behind an alternative narrative of abundance and freedom, a narrative in which fear gets defeated and love wins.

We believe God’s narrative requires we altǝr our perspective, that we step, in faith, into God’s upside down reality. In God’s reality we listen for, live and speak God’s upside down voice of faith, hope and love, not striving for ourselves but serving our neighbor. For all these reasons, this is Altǝr.

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