Then Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, everyone whose heart was stirred, to come and do the work.
Exodus 36:2 (NKJV)
I owe the picture of Jesus in my imagination to the reproduction of Warner Sallman’s “The Head of Christ,” which my parents hung in every house we lived in. Even now they are in the process of moving houses again, and I guarantee one of the first things to go up will be this picture. Although it’s probably not what Jesus actually looked like, I can’t help but picture him that way. I even came to adore the peace and love depicted in his eyes through this art piece.
Art is no doubt a God-given gift and expression of a very creative God, and something beautiful happens when someone loved by a creative God begins to create out of love and worship: the observers get to see God in a new and different way, or as it was in my case, shape the way he is viewed. Art also “sets the table” for a response from those observing. The way a house is decorated can tell you to get comfortable or get your feet off the coffee table.
Art in the context for the verse above is in the preparation for God’s physical dwelling place in the wilderness. I think there’s something romantic about seeing all these artists coming together to usher in the presence of the Almighty King into the Tabernacle. Like Psalms. 66:4 puts it, “Everything on earth will worship you…”.
And so you, BCC, are invited to allow the Holy Spirit to fill and stir in you (Ex.35:31), giving you the wisdom and ability (Ex. 35:21) to “set the table” for the presence of God, willingly offering worship to him through art (Ex.35:21,29). It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced artist like Bezalel and Aholiab or just someone who enjoys the process of creating something from scratch; whatever you offer with a willing heart is received by God (and us).
If you are interested see me in the lobby on Sunday for a blank canvas. Take it home, create, and return it back to me by April 13. The pieces will be part of our Resurrection Sunday celebration.