By Stan Friedman
AUSTIN, TX (December 31, 2014) — Vox Venaie, a Covenant congregation, always is seeking artistic ways to hear and share the gospel. In the spring, Pastor Gideon Tsang took a page from a new style of writing known as flash and encouraged them to describe their experience of the gospel in 55 words or less.
Tsang describes flash as “Ultra-short story form, with every word having to pack a pretty hefty punch.”
Members were told their writing could be as literal or metaphorical as the person wanted, Tsang said. “It was an interesting experience for everyone as they boiled it down for themselves and shared that with each other.”
The experience was so beneficial and appreciated, the congregation was given another opportunity with a different topic, the Apostle’s Creed.
Tsang wrote on the church’s website, “In preparing for our Covenant Member Orientation last month, it dawned on us that the apostle’s creed is 108 words. For centuries, this concise story has grounded orthodoxy for communities like ours. With that in mind, we gave participants 15 minutes to write their 108 gospel story. The post included some samples from the congregation.
Following are some examples from the spring challenge as well as one from the latest writings:
Grace is good news, none deserve it. Created in God’s image, we chose ourselves, not him. God’s mercy reached its climax when Jesus lived on earth, was executed, resurrected. In obedience to his leadership alone, we receive forgiveness and restoration from brokenness and corruption. Christ’s resurrection brings freedom and healing, here on earth and beyond.
by Weylin Lee
Stone, wave, leaf, fur, built with a Word,
Man and Woman born with the breath of God.
Given choice, we choose ourselves,
Separated as sea
But across the distance the Speaker
reaches to invite everything back to Him.
Disgrace and distance erased by Perfect Love
born, ripped, buried, and risen whole.
by Mike Kaiser
The Gospel is ineffable.
It’s good news not to be summed up in words, but shared in love.
Often confused and distorted, it’s the salvation of humanity.
The perfect creator reaching out its hand, longing to being with its imperfect creation.
Not imperfect by design, but by their own choice.
The Gospel is hope.
by Travis Perkins
A shining seed was tossed into a lake, buried in mud and complete darkness. Slowly, among bottom crawlers, it sprouted up into the darkest place. As water cleansed the sprout, it extended its leaves to be feasted by fish. Before its last breath, a single bloom broke through and providing shade for everything below.
by Meng Ke
Distilling the apostle’s creed:
In the beginning, perfect relationship
man and trinity in harmony
and I, known fully, within them
Then I fell, Lording myself
Striving, obsession with self
I steal, kill, destroy
I covet and slander
I am murderous and evil
I am empty
But from the beginning
a man of sorrows comes
He bears my grief and sorrow
by his wounds I am healed
damned to my own personal hell
but He defeats death
He was crucified, and I with him
He was resurrected, and I with him
His grace given freely
His father, my adoption
His kingdom, His glory, my life forever
His light, forever within me.
by Jordan Vonderhaar