We expect people to express their gifts, talents, art and worship
God is an artist. The artist who follows the Creator creates to reveal the glory of God, too.
Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt
Read 2 Corinthians 4
For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us
More thoughts for meditation
Psalm 104:30 in the King James says, “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.” The Spirit of God is moving among all creation bringing life. God’s light shines in the darkness of us and illuminates Jesus. As we see that face, we are renewed and grow to reflect the image of our Creator. Paul loves to reveal this mystery: we clay jars are filled with the Lord’s glory. Amazing! He loves how he is like an artist’s tool with which God is recreating the earth.
Art always has a lot of philosophy behind it. Postmodern art reflects the sense that western cultures are no longer effectively modern. As a result, art no longer has grand narratives, no distinction between high and low; it is full of collision, collage, and fragmentation. Many postmodern artists think that all stances are unstable and insincere, so irony, parody, and humor are the only positions that have authenticity.
God the artist transcends the philosophies of any age. The Christian’s art can reflect any age’s distinctives, but it will always demonstrate a desire to reflect the Creator. When we make music, paint or write, we do it as someone who is a clay jar filled with glory. That doesn’t mean we create a distinct genre of “Christian art,” it means we give birth to art out of our new birth.
In this age, if an artist is expressing their art to give glory to God, someone will probably think they are being oppressive; someone else might feel they are being robbed of self-expression. But Paul is saying the opposite. Creating to reveal the glory of God is the unleashing of our true potential, which is far beyond our typical “clay jar” condition.
Suggestions for action
Pray: Make my service bright with the light of Jesus today.
Ponder your art and consider who it serves, especially if you are a professional artist. Take Paul’s teaching to its practical extreme.
For the rest of us clay jars, consider the many ways you reflect God the artist with your “art:” how your baking serves, or your bike repair, or your gardening, or your engineering, etc. Make a list of a few things that could be considered “your art.” How much consciousness do you have of shining light with these expressions?