Monday, October 24, 2016

Artistic Skill, Ability, and Knowledge

Today's Reading:
Exodus 35:10-36:38
Luke 22:35-53
Psalm 27:1-6
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses: Exodus 35:30-35
30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, "See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts- 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them master craftsmen and designers.

God selected and gifted people to craft the Tabernacle structure, curtains, furnishings, tools, incense, and garments. These people were described as Spirit-filled and skillful. They had knowledge, ability, and artistry.

God has gifted different people in different ways for different purposes. The arts have a special purpose as they contribute to the worship and life of faith communities. Artistry, beauty, and craftsmanship are God-given. Those who are skilled in the arts should be called upon to use these gifts to nurture and enrich worship experiences and community life.

Response and Action:
I am thankful for the artistic men and women God has gifted in my church family. I am grateful for the music, photography, craftsmanship, beauty, creative writing, graphic arts, drama, architecture, painting, dance, and so much more that make my worship and Christian experience so rich and enjoyable. I will take note of the ways God has gifted me and consider how I can use these gifts to honor God, serve my Christian community, and shine as a witness of God's goodness to the world around me.

O God, thank you for beauty and creativity. When I consider all the worlds your hands have made--the stars, the rolling thunder, the lofty mountains, the gentle breeze, the songs of birds, the babbling brook--my soul sings, "O my Lord, how great you are!" Thank you for giving human beings the ability to appreciate beauty, and for giving them the skill and desire to create beautiful things. May the works of our hands be a praise to you, a blessing to your people, and a testimony of your grace. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Philippians 4:8
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Art in Action: Toward a Christian Aesthetic
by Nicholas Wolterstorff

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