From Advent to Easter, the tinkle of 150 ceramic crosses can be heard as circulating air causes them to stir lightly against the sanctuary walls.
The crosses are displayed along the walls of Covenant Hope Church, a Christian Reformed and Reformed Church of America congregation in Battle Creek, Mich.
The crosses were created earlier last year by about 30 members of the congregation’s Creative Arts Group, who worked lumps of clay into crosses of various sizes and textures as individual as the congregants themselves.
They were hung in the church during Advent for the celebration of Christ’s birth and will stay in place through Lent and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection at Easter. As the crosses grace the walls, both their quiet tinkling and colorful beauty serve as continual reminders to the congregation of God's incomprehensible and beautiful gift of salvation and his continuing work of transformation in people’s lives.
Each cross, the product of one person’s vision and design, was stained or glazed and then put through the transforming firing process, where it emerged as a work of art. Ministry assistant Niki Van Lente explained, “As the clay went through the firing of the kiln, God himself is our refining, consuming fire, conforming us to the likeness of his Son. We emerge as his craftsmanship, stained by his blood, defined by his purposes, shaped together as one.” The crosses are reflections of Christ’s work in individual lives who are then brought into the church.
After teaching from the sanctuary walls Advent to Easter, the crosses will be sent home with the congregation at Easter to continue sharing their message of God’s love and transforming power.