Hi friends, I’m Ali. If you haven’t met me, I head up digital media here at Southview. This week I get to talk a bit about the graphic for our new series, “Transformed,” which we launch this weekend.
“Transformed,” dives into Chapter 12 of the book of Romans. This chapter serves as the hinge on which Paul’s letter turns from an examination of our need for a Saviour to how we are to live out new life in Christ. The second half of Romans seeks to answer the first question many new believers have – how now shall we live? Romans 12 maps that out, by celebrating the vast array of giftings found in the body of Christ, and encouraging us to use those giftings in pursuit of daily transformation into His likeness.
When we start a new series, my conversations with Clyde and the Worship & Arts team often follow a trajectory similar to the paragraph above. We talk about the broader themes of the upcoming series and where we’re headed over the coming weeks. And then inevitably someone (usually Clyde) turns to me and says, “Ali, could you find an abstract image that captures that?”
I laugh (and secretly have a minor panic attack over how I’m supposed to locate an image that encapsulates all of that). But I find when I start to do some digging, the right “look” for the new series always presents itself.
Here’s the “Transformed” series graphic.
This image comes to us courtesy of photographer Meagan Carsience. Meagan’s work can be found on the wonderful stock photography website, Unsplash. Much of her photography uses experimental techniques to create stunning abstracts derived from urban light.
The photography above caught my eye because the triangular shape reminds me strongly of a plectrum, a small tool used to strum or pluck a stringed instrument. When it’s used on a guitar, it’s better known as a pick. In the image, it appears to visually demonstrate the vibrations of the instrument as it moves across the strings.
This image is a beautiful representation of transformation on several levels.
First, it captures a strong sense of movement and change. The strumming of a chord often moves a piece of music in a new direction or serves as a pivotal moment in a performance, not unlike Romans 12 serving as a turning point for Paul’s magnum opus. The triangular shape also calls to mind the Trinity, and reminds us that we are continually being shaped and moulded by a relational Godhead.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there’s artistry in this simple tool. It requires talent, skill, and practice to wield. Not all of us are musically inclined, but we’re all gifted in some way. Romans 12 celebrates these areas of gifting – prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, generosity, leadership, mercy – and many others.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, Romans 12 assures us that we’re all artists of something. Transformation begins when we allow Him to polish, enhance, and hone our artistry into something truly magnificent.