Tag Archives: Lent

Unlikely Icon

This painting is one of several that illustrates this passage from the book of John. The painting is by Eugene, J. Pentiuc, who is working on an illustrated Bible. check out his website http://pentiuc.com/pascha/

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. – the gospel of John


one of my favourite novels

One of my favourite novels is by Christopher Moore called Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. It sounds a little irreverent and it is but it’s also brilliant. Moore imagines Jesus’ childhood, youth and his emergence into adulthood – all those years for which the gospels do not account. The story is told through the eyes of his childhood friend, Biff. Imagine growing up in the same village as Jesus and being his chum. You would have seen a child playing with other children. Seen him go to the temple with his family. Listened to him describe what it was like working in the carpenter’s shop with his dad. Just ordinary human stuff.

What’s beautiful about this novel is that it highlights the humanity of Jesus but also shows how he came to understand his own divinity. Fully human, fully divine. It’s hard to wrap your head around that concept. No wonder he wasn’t immediately recognized for who he was. No wonder, when he began his preaching ministry and started to make great claims about himself that the people wondered “isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he say he came down from heaven?”

one of my favourite CDs!

In her song, Unlikely Icon, Helma Sawatzky explores exactly this, repeating the phrase “the unlikely icon of the face of God”. She describes the children playing “hide and seek with the Saviour of Nations”. She describes Joseph’s carpenter’s shop as the “royal surroundings where God grew up.” She also describes Jesus’ “cruel execution where blood stained the dirt, bystanders taunting him for a lifesaving work.”

And then. Then she brings it right home.


How can we be sure to see

The light of the world in the eyes of an enemy

Is your face so common place

We fail to see your grace in reality…

We fail to see you?


We stumble through darkness and try to make sense

Of what you might look like in this present tense

When here in the mirror

We stand face to face with the holy reflection of the God of Grace


The unlikely icon of the face of God

Unlikely Icon



When God chose to come to us, he really did choose to get down and dirty. Who would have imagined the King of Creation choosing such a path to restore his creation to himself? It truly is the most unlikely method. And if each of us is a spark of the Divine, then we too are unlikely vessels and what a gift we’ve been given.

But the real test is to see that in each other. To see that in our enemies. To see that in the strangers we encounter each day. When I think of the youth who are served by Cyrus Centre in this light, I’m humbled. Those who do this work 24/7/365 look at the face of Jesus every time they look into the face of one of those kids. Holy smack.

Cyrus Centre does amazing work in the Fraser Valley and they deserve your support. Give what you can, knowing that because of the generosity of a wonderful donor couple, all donations no will be matched up to $3000. Give what you can, knowing that what you do for the least of these unlikely people, you’re doing it for Jesus. Get the details on how to give on our Services Info Page.


Giving Up the Blues for Lent


Giving Up the Blues for Lent

For 5 years, Good Friday Blues has been an opportunity to remember Jesus journey to the cross through prayer, storytelling, poetry and really great blues music. It was also an opportunity for us as a community to support a really important resource: Cyrus Centre, which supports street entrenched youth in the Fraser Valley.

This year, Good Friday Blues is taking a break. I know that will be disappointing to many of you and I have to admit that it feels a little weird not to be in rehearsals. For the last 5 years, I’ve spent all year thinking about music, finding readings and prayers, considering themes. This year, I’ve done almost none of that because I knew we would not be doing Good Friday Blues this time around. But what has been heavy on my heart is a desire to continue to support Cyrus Centre and the important work that they do. Over the 5 years that we put on these services, we raised over $15,000 for Cyrus Centre and I want to see that support continue.


So here’s the deal: I’m going to ask all of you who have ever attended a Good Friday Blues service (and those who haven’t!) to consider making a donation to Cyrus Centre in lieu of attending a service this year. This ministry deserves your support. If you need further incentive, our good friend, who has matched donations for the last several years, has agreed to do this again, matching all donations up to $3000!

Here’s two ways to do this:

  • Make your donation online on the Cyrus Centre website. When you get to the donate page and fill out all your info, you’ll see two options at the bottom. Choose “Is this in honour of someone?” and you’ll get a drop-down menu. Where you see “Occasion” enter “Good Friday Blues” THAT’S ALL YOU NEED TO DO IN THAT SECTION. Fill in the rest and give your gift.


  • Send a cheque to Cyrus Centre and in the memo line write “Good Friday Blues”. Cheques can be mailed to 2616 Ware Street, Abbotsford BC, V2S 3E5


I chose the theme Giving up the Blues for Lent because I love the play on words. Yes, we’ve given up doing our Blues service this year but by supporting Cyrus Centre, we’re helping those who are living with challenges and probably feeling more than a little “blue”. So if you’re looking for something meaningful to do during this Lenten season, join us in giving up the blues for Lent and make a donation to Cyrus Centre!

I’ll keep you updated on our progress through this blog and I’ll also share my thoughts on some music that I’ve encountered since last year. So keep coming back – and tell all your friends!