Every Valentine's weekend since Brad and I were dating we have tried to attend L'Abri annual conference. The last 4 years we have gone down to Rochester, MN to stay for two nights at the lovely downtown Kahler Hotel. This year, again thanks to my generous in-laws, Nancy & Tom, Atticus & Dietrich stayed for the two nights with their grandparents down in Des Moines while we had a vacation. This year Lincoln came with us and we were so happy that our dear friends Liz & Eric Berget came for the weekend too!!! Brad and I traded off on Lincoln-duty to be able to listen to the lectures we had each chosen as our favorite and to hear a couple main sessions too. I was able to have some sweet, restful time of reading, writing, and praying in our hotel room while Lincoln napped or went to his early bedtime. One night we had a delicious Italian meal together with the Bergets, and were able to hang out in a nearby Barnes & Noble for awhile before heading over to Albert Lea to meet up with Tom & Nancy to gather our older boys for the trip up home. This year's seminars revolved around the theme : Making All Things New, The Power of the Gospel to Transform [Christ's Comprehensive Work of Renewal -- He Sets All Things Right].
The first session I attended was by Margie Haack (of Ransom Fellowship, the Culture Critique Magazines Ransom Fellowship & Notes from Toad Hall) on Cooking with Cast Iron. She began her talk with a fantastic quote by Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920): "There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, 'Mine!'"
The last small session I attended was by the brilliant young Dutchwoman, Edith Reitsema (of English L'Abri) on the general subject "Creativity". The flow and observations of the lecture were beautiful and encouraging, but what lasted for me was the call to be creative in this life WITH JOY overflowing from the celebration of Christ's own creative work of redemption -- "Rejoicing in the face of God", the wedding feast of the Lamb, art made, formed, worked out in the power of the joy of Christ's Kingship, Redemption, and sublime magnificence!
"Within the theater of history, humankind is neither a puppet nor a passive spectator. Even if both the decisive victory and the final triumph must be acts of God, since weakness and sin disqualify humanity from such an achievement, nevertheless God, after His work of deliverance in the coming, death, and resurrection of His Son, calls humanity to action. God invites humankind to help prepare a new world in which all things will be unified in Christ."
-- Hans Rookmaaker, The Creative Gift
"Our work in any field of the arts is imitative. We think God's thoughts after Him, paint with His colors, speak with His gift of language, explore and express His sounds and harmonies, work with His creation in all its glories, diversity and in-built inventiveness. In addition, we find ourselves longing to make known the beauty of life as it once was in Paradise, the tragedy o fthe present marring, and the hope of our final redemption. All great art will contain this element of being an echo of Eden, in all its original glory, Eden that is lost to us, and Eden restored."
-- Jerram Barrs, "Christianity and Art"