Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; 18 and they began to acclaim Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him. - Mark 15:17-20

BMW_Indy made this amazing MOC - John 3:16.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Maundy Thursday

And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. - Luke 22:19-20

Brendan Powell Smith Lego-ized DaVinci's Last Supper.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Why is this night different from all other nights?

Tonight Jews around the world celebrate the first night of Passover. This commemorates the night that the Israelites were protected from death and sent forth from Egypt to freedom. The ritual meal brings together the family, and the story is retold how the Lord rescued their people from slavery. Sitting on the table is the Seder plate (here by Joanna Brichetto), with items that each bear symbolic meaning. Maror and chazeret (left and bottom portions here) are bitter herbs that symbolize the bitterness of slavery. Charoset (lower right) is a paste of fruit and nuts symbolizing the mortar used by the slaves to build in Egypt. Karpas (center) is a vegetable dipped in salt water or vinegar, symbolic of Joseph's coat being dipped in blood. Zeroa (upper right) is a roasted lamb or goat bone - during the days of the Temple sacrifices would be offered at this time in memory of the lamb's blood put on the doorpost. Beitzah (upper left) is a hard-boiled egg, also representative of a temple sacrifice, and additionally a symbol of sadness over the destruction of the temple. I've also seen it noted in connection to spring and new life.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ten plagues

If I'd planned this in advance, I would have a ten day countdown to Passover and would cover each of the plagues, but I'm not that organized. Plus it's a busy time of year for a blogger with general religious themes, with us now entering Holy Week for Christianity, and of course there are the developments in the Catholic Church with the new Pope Francis. Plus I've just run across some other nice MOCs I wanted to feature. Anyway, let's just feature the first plague, illustrated here by E.B..

The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs—and they will turn to blood.’ Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.” Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. - Exodus 7:19-20

Palm Sunday

Over on KidsChurchIdeas they've got some ideas for a LEGO Easter Club. This layout has different sections illustrating different parts of the Easter week story, but there in the middle we see the road leading into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday: 'On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.”' John 12:12,13.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Burning bush

Here are three versions of Moses and the burning bush. "The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. ... He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:2,6


Ben King.

Marcus Goodyear.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Plight of the Israelites

As we lead up to next week's Passover, recall the Plight of the Israelites (by Digger1221): So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly. Exodus 1:11-14 NIV.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dambulla Cave Temple

The Dambulla Cave Temple, or Golden Temple of Dambulla, is a network of caves in a huge rock that towers above the surrounding area of Sri Lanka. The five caves have been a holy site for over two thousand years, and include many statues of the Buddha, including a reclining Buddha over 15 meters long, as well as a couple of statues of Hindu deities. Jackie Britton made this LEGO rendition.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pope Francis

A couple of LEGO renditions of the new Roman pontiff have emerged: Greg50's Habemus Papum and Custom Concepts' custom Francis.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

In the US, Saint Patrick's Day is more of an excuse to party, but it's actually the feast day of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick lived in what is now northwest England in the late fourth century. As a teen he was captured and taken to Ireland, where he lived as a slave for six years, before escaping and returning home. He later became a priest and returned to Ireland, where he helped bring Christianity to the people there. These two creations by Bricko and Finn Tegotash show his life in captivity.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Saint Francis of Assisi

Since I don't know of any LEGO renditions of the new Pope (yet - c'mon, Catholic LEGO builders), let's take a look at his namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi (here by Constant Concepts). Francis was an Italian friar who lived from 1181-1226. He founded three religious orders, and is particularly known for his love for the poor. From the news I've read about the new Pope, this seems to be one of his primary motivations in choosing the name Francis. The saint was also famously a lover of nature, and legends that sprang up after his death recount stories of him preaching to the birds and calming a vicious wolf. No word yet if the new Pope is much of an outdoorsman. John Paul II loved skiing, so maybe we'll see Pope Francis backpacking in the wilderness. :) Okay, probably not.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Not -that- white smoke

Pedro Nogueira Photography commemorates the 'white smoke' that marks the election of Pope Francis with a Special effects technician.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tiny little ecumenical town

Jennifer Heaton and Nathan Stohlmann recently put on a micropolis display at a local library. The reason to note it here is that they included several religious structures. My favorite is Jennifer's Hindu temple, with the riot of color reflective of many real temples, but we also see a mosque, a Buddhist temple, a traditional cathedral, and a synagogue. Thanks, Peter, for the tip, and for the correction.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Noah's Ark

Over on the MOCpages group the 4% they are holding a Genesis contest. Matthew Oh made this Noah's Ark.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sede vacante

Yesterday was Pope Benedict's final day in office. On Wednesday he held his final general audience in Saint Peter's Square, the large open area at the front of the Vatican. St. Peter's Basilica and Square by Arthur Gugick

Normally, there would be an official period of mourning before moving forward, but as Benedict is the first Pope in centuries to retire, rather than pass away, this is not needed. So very soon the Cardinals will gather in conclave. Cardinal by Bikicsmilan.

After a celebration of the Eucharist, they will seal themselves in the Sistine Chapel. Creation of Adam by Brendan Powell Smith.

The Cardinals will go through a series of secret ballots, and presumably much prayer and discussion. If they do not come to a decision, the ballots are burned, and an additive makes the smoke from the burning black. The smoke announces to the waiting world that a decision has not yet been made. Sede vacante by Jojo.

In past centuries the voting could go on for quite a long time before a Pope is chosen, even years. In more recent conclaves, the rules have been changed so that after a set number of days of ballots there is a run-off between the top vote-getters, so that a decision is ensured within two weeks of the opening of the conclave. At the point where a decision is made, the ballots are burned in a way that white smoke is released, and the declaration is made 'Habemus Papum' 'We have a Pope'. Habemus papum by Jojo.