I believe that most of our faith metaphors have either been domesticated, adulterated, appropriated, become insular, or are utterly sedate. They either serve little, serve the wrong, serve ourselves, or serve nothing. All of which is a serious problem, for images move the hearts of humanity. They motivate and inspire. If images of a creation saved from a flood of its own contempt, or of a small and wayfaring, yet covenant people given a gift for the whole world, or of an exiled and seemingly forgotten people desperately trying to hold onto a promise of restoration, or the tragicomedy of the violent genocide of all that is good, beautiful, just, and true that gave way to a resurrection no one saw coming that unleashed grace upon the world, sent forgiveness viral and invited all to join in recreation -- if such images do no more than simply make us excited (a feeling of diminishing return, to be sure) or uncomfortable (a feeling we undoubtedly don't like but to which we are easily inured), we're -- or better yet, the world is -- in trouble.
Out of concern for this, I was inspired to organize theGuild, a group of artists with tongues to taste and lips to articulate the justice of the kingdom of God. I've been toying for about two years with the idea of a guild as a metaphor for followers of God in the way of Jesus. A guild seems inherently others-interested and action-oriented, which is essential, I believe, to doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God. As bondfellows committed to this, the members of theGuild will ply our arts in hopes of giving you ears to hear and eyes to see the stories of resurrection in new and living ways.
So whenever you see this banner, prepare to be transported to a place beyond the usual posture of argument and counter-argument. A place where we can perhaps see ourselves and not just hear and talk about ourselves. And if we listen closely enough, I have the suspicion we just might overhear the gospel.
Melvin Bray is a language artist and a member of theGuild, along with Lisa Samson (novelist), Yaisha Harding (writer), Ercell Watson (comedian), Daniel Ra (singer-songwriter), Eugene Russell (singer-songwriter-rapper-actor), Russell Rathbun (storyteller), Daley Hake (photographer), Ed Sohn (multimedia artist), Prisca Kim (writer), and Claudia Burney (novelist). Learn more on theGuild's Facebook page.