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Week 5 Day 1 – The Art of Worship

Exodus 35:30-36:1

There are some observations that can be made from this passage.

1.   An artistic expression was considered a gift of God’s Spirit. (At this point all the Christian artists of the world stand and rejoice!) Isn’t it interesting that in the heart of God’s process of developing a tangible vehicle through which He can communicate His nature to His people, God called upon artists to get the job done. That is, in my opinion, speaking as an artist who is a Christian, the chief purpose of art. Art exists to provide a window for mortal man to be transported beyond the calculations of raw numbers and the rationality of words, into a supra-rational place where concepts like beauty and truth can be explored in a tactile, experiential way. In the process of meditating on these ideals we can connect with God, the author and sustainer of beauty and truth itself.

That was a pretty esoteric paragraph, sorry. Here’s another way to look at it. When you see a great piece of art it causes you to think about the majesty of God, the ultimate creator of all things. Art is a vital part of the worship experience and should be readily utilized in both the individual and the group worship experience.

2.   The skill was a divinely given gift. Many times the purpose and practice of art can be distorted. As with most other professions and vocations, when the motive of the task becomes self-serving the spark of the eternal is snuffed out and the work becomes profane. Art for art’s sake is profane. Business for money’s sake is profane. Sex for pleasure’s sake is profane. Yet, art for God’s sake, removing the ego of the artist, is divine. God gives gifts to His people. We all have them. They are gifts. We did not earn them, nor do we deserve them. God gave them to us to use for His glory. Art is no different. When an artist realizes that her gift is from God and she decides to dedicate the artistic process to the glory of God, great and beautiful things can happen.

If you are an artist, be encouraged. Many times art can get shoved aside in the church as a superfluous endeavor. This is not the truth. God wants you to use your gifts for Him to communicate deep truths about simple beauty. Art is the language that communicates beyond cultural boundaries. The next time you pick up your brush or pencil, remember that you are an artistic ambassador for the Kingdom of God!

If you are not an artist, remember two things. First remember that God has given you an equally wonderful gift to be used to edify His body. Second, remember to encourage the artists in your community to use their gifts to bring glory to God and to help others connect with God’s presence.

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