Art as Praise to God
The gift of creativity is fascinating. That mere man can create works of art is a wonder to enjoy and ponder. The true delight, however, is not with mankind, but something more sublime. While art is edifying itself, it stands as a praise to God. It does this in two ways.
Creation attests as a witness to the glory and invisible attributes of a powerful, personal God. The earth we inhabit displays this grandeur. In the same way, art and creativity testifies. It need not be spiritual in content. Beautiful art cannot help but point to the Almighty and what He has wrought in life around us and the human experience. The crafted object or image echoes as another affirmation to being, just as the scene or facet of creation we observe. We miss this witness only when becoming dulled and jaded with the wonderment of existence. We are here, the world and all it amazingly contains is here. This is the first praise.
The second is the ability and talents themselves which God has given. That humans create is a unique marvel. We do so not merely from moving the hands to make a thing, more than motor skills is at play. Creativity springs from the existent capacity inside us. Unlike God, we do not call our works into being from nothing. In our limited mortality, we feebly use and study what is already there from Another. While God created vibrant life, we cannot create or capture actual life. Yet, we could not see or understand what is without a mind and eyes to perceive them, nor create without the heart to express, all of which God fashioned within us. This personality of expression in our role as creatures, in microcosm, reflects the personhood of the wonderful, infinitely transcendent Creator.
The ultimate marvel is not humanity nor what we make. What can we fashion or be that is not there or given? This is the whole point of art praising God. The witness of art points upward in praise to the Creator of all things, standing as a testimony not only to God’s existence, but to His almighty power. Human creativity points upward beyond ourselves, if we have ears to hear. It remains praise to the One who gave it even if we do not, because it could not exist without Him.
What an amazing and astounding reality that God would not only create man, but enable a creature from the dust with capability of expression and displayed beauty. These gifts cannot help but be a witness to the very Creator that gave them. His divine power is beautiful. What we see and experience calls us to look to the unseen, the exalted God it is our joy to serve.
Jeffrey M Green