Christian Art

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Our God is a creator God. In the beginning there was nothing, then God spoke and there was everything.

We are filled with awe when we take the time to view the majesty of creation and all that is in it. From the bottom of the ocean and its bioluminescent fish,  to the soaring pelican and their amazing beaks, to the jungles of India and the strong sinews of the fearsome tiger, our world is filled with wonder.

From the vastness of the Grand Canyon to the might of the Himalayas, from the sand swept Sahara to the frozen tundra we are captivated with God’s work.  And we are stirred to create ourselves.

Since the earliest days of man we have sought to make creations of our own. Whether it be song, or prose, sculpting or constructing we desire to craft something of our own.

As early as Genesis Chapter 4 God honours those who seek to create when Scripture specifically names Jubal as ‘the father of all those who play the lyre and the pipe.’ In 1 Kings 7:13-14 Hiram is remembered in scripture for ‘his wisdom understanding and skill in doing any work with bronze.’

God not only encourages us to create works of our own, he empowers us to do so.

Exodus 31:1-11

The LORD said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you:  the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furnishings of the tent, the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin and its stand, and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the Holy Place. According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do.”

This passage clearly reveals that God gifts us with the talents and abilities to create. While this list isn’t exhaustive it reveals that God gifts people to make dwellings, arks, utensils, tables, lamp stands, altars, basins, stands, clothing, oils and incense.

An important point is that it says that God gives ‘to all men the ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you.’ God gifts us to do what he wants us to do, to give him the glory.

However we have a choice. Scripture says that just as God’s calling is irrevocable, so too are his gifts (Rom 11:29). We  can choose to use our gifts to create in a way that honours God or in a way that seeks to honour ourselves.

As Christians it is our privilege to glorify God’s name by creating in such a way that we give him the honour. It doesn’t need to be explicit or in your face like Al Hartley’s run on the Archie Comics (absolutely hilarious in retrospect) but it should be our goal nonetheless. C.S. Lewis never mentioned the name of Christ in the Chronicles of Narnia but he certainly pointed towards Him. JRR Tolkein was even less explicit than Lewis yet it is hard to miss the theme of salvation that runs through Gandalf’s death and return.

If you serve Christ and love to create, whether it be art or architecture, engineering or carpentry then do so to the honour and glory of God. Earnestly pray for the Holy Spirit to gift you and empower you to create in way that is obedient to His word and in a manner that lifts up his name. Whether you mention it or not.

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