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First Pres Blog

The Art of Forgiveness, No. 8

Posted by Matt Fox on

"Return of the Prodigal Son," Karl Kwekel, Calvin College. Gift of Larry and Mary Gerbens.

We are rapidly approaching the end of our Lenten season, and in turn the end of our exhibition, "The Father & His Two Sons: The Art of Forgiveness." If you haven't had a chance to see this exhibition, which features more than 40 pieces inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal Son, I encourage you to get out and see it before Easter, April 16. To learn more about the exhibition, click here.

For those that want to take their appreciation of this collection and themes further, you should consider our Palm Sunday concert, The Song of Forgiveness, which will be in the Sanctuary at 4 p.m. this Sunday, April 9. This special concert event will feature the Sanctuary Choir, soloists, an instrumental ensemble and a multi-media presentation based on the Art Exhibition. Admission is free, so come early to see the art and bring a friend!

So much of our discussion of this parable, and these art pieces, has centered on the sons. But what about the father? What do we learn about the father and, by extension, our Heavenly Father, through this parable. That was a subject that Dan Jessup addressed during our worship service last Sunday. If you haven't had a chance to hear his message, you can hear it here and watch it here.

Many of the works in the collection also focus on the father. One such example is the Karl Kwekel piece pictured above. Collector Larry Gerbens noted that he was struck by the piece and tracked down the artist to see if the original was for sale. Kwekel related to him a story of his own time wandering from home and faith, and how his father had waited for him in prayer and unconditional love. The piece was created to honor that and the original was, thus, not for sale.

"Karl's work and words are a wonderful testimony to the longing and patient, prayerful waiting of Our Father for the return of His wandering children." ("The Father & His Two Sons: The Art of Forgiveness," page 27).

It's not too late to come to First Pres and experience Kwekel's piece, and the rest of the collection, in person. See how the rich themes of grace and forgiveness found in this parable speak to you through these 43 different pieces.

Tags: art, parable, prodigal, worship