Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Advent Sketches

Haiku Hymn
by Tim Eby-McKenzie

Ears you need to hear
The Word softly crashes in
Silent song of joy

Kings and despots plot
The Word in timely splendor
Humbly awaits birth

Naked helpless babe
Swaddled nursed attached secure
In poverty rests

Absurd scandal's eve
Unrecognized miracle
Light not overcome

Word of God unveiled
Blind eyes look to be opened
The world knew him not

Joy set before him
Rescuer of wretched souls
Wades into the mire

Ignorance and want
Reckless, sinful - all condemned
Violent guilt and shame

Seated in darkness
Endless waiting for the light
Lame, blind, deaf, sick, dumb

Healing in His wings
Captive's freedom, sinner's joy
Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

This is a collection of sketches I did last Sunday as part of an Advent service at Altadena Baptist Church. I drew them in real time as a series of nine haiku s reflecting on Advent themes were read by their author, Tim Eby-McKenzie. The sketches were in response to the haiku's which you can read below, and a video feed of the drawing process was running so the whole congregation could watch the drawings unfold. As Tim read and I drew, our worship pastor, Glenn Molina improvised on piano in response.

The most significant part of the experience for me was the immediate connection the images evoked. Each different image (each completed in under a minute) seemed to connect with different viewers. I love the Advent idea of clarity emerging from uncertainty, and of the process of waiting, watching and a pattern starting to unfold.

I have been sketching in church for some time now but it wasn't until last Good Friday that I began to focus my drawing as a reflective and meditative, even worshipful exercise in the context of the congregation. It is a pleasure and a privilege to serve in a church where the richness of the gifts that God has given us can be celebrated and brought into service of the broader congregation.


  1. These haiku and sketches are beautiful, and I've linked them on Altadenablog!

  2. Thanks Sage. Great to be part of your catalog of the pulse of the community.


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