Finding a context for your gifting isn’t easy. For artist who want a larger more spiritual or transcendent context, the art world doesn’t offer much, and unforturtunately, the church is often also silent. But there is a metaphysical house or spiritual structure being built globally, that excites us with a true context into which to create our works of art, and inspire the cities and nations with a fresh Voice.
We are part of a global collaboration which is really about downloading heaven onto earth through the arts. In this way, our art provides a space or container for The Divine. Some say, art always does this. But with the pressures of commerce and fame, one rarely sees an artist truly being motivated by “building a house for God to dwell in.” But I think there is no lower context which is truly inspiring to most artists. Arts were meant to change the world. Change begins with changing the heart, or spirit or the way of seeing the world.
The arts invite the spiritual realm. Through art we are able to touch something transcendent. Not necesarily religious but definitely more than meets the eye–something spiritual! Everyone desires that their life have meaning–art declares that indeed life does mean something, and that we are in an important metanarrative which matters in the universe. We are part of a story that God is telling! The symbolizers know this, and sense that there is something other which helps interpret our lives as more than jobs and tasks, which tells us our lives symbolize something purposeful, something greater.
In the Torah, we have this passage where King David is so radically excited about building a house to God that he calls all the artisans to give it their best treasures and time. He calls forth the artisans to make the house of God a place of beauty and shining. The artists of his day, gladly “consecrated” themselves unto this work. They wanted to be part of something bigger than their own lives or even their own moment in History! Art wants to serve the Divine. And to be part of forming a space for God to download onto earth and radically reflect Himself in space and time.
At times art is worship, but at other times it is primarily a space of interface between God and man–a place where people can taste, feel and know Him. Worship has the unique focus of devotion and praise of God, but art also is used to make the house of meeting between God and people. The second “use” of art is what I am writing about–where we are able to touch and download heaven onto earth through the creative process and the objects which are birthed within it. In doing so, we forge a “big top” for The Creator to express Himself. We become resonating boards, or satellites for the Divine to broadcast through.
The artists of David’s day where suddenly given a context into which to create and bring their art, which was a radically new context. Rather than just making beautiful objects, they were given the call of participating in creating a “house for His Name.” This implies so much, but in short, these artists were being allowed to make a spiritual “space” for the coming of God onto the earth! They were not just working on careers or fame or social work–they were part of building a house for God to dwell. It doesn’t get higher than that in terms of a meaningful context to bring your gifts.
At the same time, they had to lay down some of their treasures and set themselves apart for this project. This is harder for most artists to do, as we tend to get caught up either in the creative process itself, or our desire to further our creative careers. This was a unique moment in Jewish history (and world history), that so many artists were willingly giving their time and talent to build this unique spiritual dwelling. In doing so, one imagines that they too were transformed by the Presence for which they were building a house! I think we are in another unique moment like in the time of David, where we can be part of the transformation of the entire planet by both being and building a house for His Name to Dwell.
To be transformed as we are building a space for the transforming Presence of God is a high calling. To then watch this thing we helped build, transform cities and entire nations is even more thrilling. That is exactly the moment we are in again in history. Artist are being asked to come help build a temple for God to dwell in. And this is the most meaningful project and context for their gifts ever seen. Not only would God inhabit our own creative process more, but allow us to experience His inhabiting the planet more.
Artist are transformers because they are downloading something which is transformational! Now some things being downloaded, say in pornographic art, transform our sight into darker associations. But all art taps us into something larger which brings change in us and how we see the world. To be and build a place where The Great Creator can enter is to be changed into His Likeness!
To be part of transforming the entire planet into this likeness is to be in one’s highest context. This is the opportunity before us now as artist. God wants us to build a temple for His Dwelling globally. He is asking us if we desire this higher context for our art. To say no, is to remain within the lower ceiling of world of art. To say yes, is to finally find the most meaningful context for our creative gifts ever offered!
This ‘temple” has broader and higher proportions than both the art world and the church world’s current perameters. It has Kingdom perameters, which are limitless and radically beautiful. At the same time, as the contours of the Kingdom press in through our art, we will see both the art world and the church world experiencing a fresh burst of hope at being able to expand into the vast freedom of its arches and passageways.
When Martin Luther King Jr preached the Kingdom, he was bringing it into the realm of social justice and race relations; as the Kingdom comes also into the art world, we will see a renaissance of passionate creativity and new forms, never before seen. As His Kingdom presses into the symbolic realm, we will not only see new art forms emerging, but entirely new systems of commerce and distribution.
Art is the place where His Kingdom can pronounce itself-broadcasting or proclaiming its ways through the symbolic! God is symbolic and wants to communicate through the symbolic level of communication. He is Lord over the symbolic, as He is in every other dimension of Reality. As we let His Kingdom come in the arts, you will see many other areas being radically changed. I feel it is time for us to wonder at the amazement of the creative symbolic process, and also to offer it unto the One who created us.
As artist we desire to be caught up and to catch others “up” into something higher than the hum drum of daily life. We want to be interpreters of our times, and guide people into something bigger–a metanarrative worth living within; a story which inspires us to live fully! The Kingdom provides this context for our endeavers, and inspires to serve with our talents in downloading a spiritual realm which is His House and our home!
We are building a temple, a dwelling place for The Creator. Our art is a door for His Kingdom to come. Let us take up our talents and make room for the King of Glory to enter! Let us take up our talents and spend them on His House! Lift up ye heads, and swing open your gates oh porters and pilgrims, singers and painters—for The King comes and His Kingdom is with Him!