BIBLE ART CLASS: THE VISION

"Living water".  Digital.  By Ellis Gandy

“Living water”. Digital. By Ellis Gandy

Creativity comes from God. That should be a simple truth, as the Lord is the One who has created all things, but in the church it can sometimes seem like an alien concept. The bible states that from the very beginning, human beings were created to worship God, but this has often ended up funneled into a constricting cell of only singing, clapping, and tears. There is, of course, nothing wrong with any of that, and I can tell you from personal experience that those things flow naturally from an encounter with the supernatural Holy Spirit. Still, the entire body was formed by divine hands as an instrument of glorious praise.  So,we have been gifted to shine the light of Christ in soulful lyrics on our tongues as well as strokes of paint from the brush held between exquisitely crafted fingertips.

One of my conceptual sketches of Mary and baby Jesus.  Pencil.

One of my conceptual sketches of Mary and baby Jesus. Pencil.

With the latter in mind, I’ve recently started a bible themed art class here in Japan. Far from being a perfect science, I am trusting the leading of the Spirit and godly counsel to see this become more than just a project, but a new way of worshipful life. The theme scripture is from Exodus 31:1-5, when God was instructing Moses on the building of the Ark of the Covenant:

Then the Lord said to Moses,“See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. – NIV

From this scripture, and others like it, we see a direct connection between artistry, the ability to give tangible reality to a vision, and the Lord. Achieving that connection with the source of our gifts is vital to insure that the vision given birth is of light, not darkness.  The method we’re using to realize this immerses us in scriptures that detail God’s glory and His concern for the things that He’s created.  For example, Job chapters 38-39 paint an awesome picture of a God who is not only above all things, but deeply interested and involved in their intelligent workings, so we also try to slow down from the worries, stresses and busyness of everyday life and take in the awesome wonder of creation around us.  It might be difficult at first, but the students and I are beginning to see the beauty of God in the smallest things, things that most likely would’ve been missed before when our heads were in a more secular, “times a’ wastin” mindset; a bright green blade of grass glowing in the midday sun, the melodic cadence of a troop of frogs in the nearby river, a brightly colored butterfly struggling against a soft wind.

Some work from an adult and kids class.  There are some with experience, but many others with none.

Some work from an adult and kids class. There are some with experience, but many others with none…and that’s totally OK to start with.

The class itself is slowly taking shape, very much like a new work of art, so I’ll be reporting back periodically on the more practical applications of the vision.  In the meantime, remember that you were conceived as a masterpiece of soul, spirit and love.  However, that work, regardless of how valuable it is, achieves nothing sitting somewhere in the basement or garage.  Let the colors and light of the Lord shine on in you.

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