CHRISTIAN MUSIC AND ART
by MIRIAM JACOB
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Christians are made in the image of God, our Creator, to create music and art to praise His name. Music sets the truths of the Christian gospel in musical form to praise the Creator. The tone and fabric of our lives is set to music by the art we create for God’s glory. Christian artists work from a deep faith in the heart, in a tryst with God, their destiny.
Everything glorifies God in nature and in life, from the least to the greatest. When artists study the world God has created in such exquisite and intricate detail, their work takes on an added depth and beauty. This is art, drawn with passion and integrity, to celebrate the beauty of the world, God’s amazing handiwork.
Do Christians care about music and art? We cannot ignore the arts, whether we like it or not. Wherever we look around us, we are confronted by art in the beauty of nature and on the canvas of life. It creates the vivid, imaginative world in which we live. Artistic media shapes the creative consciousness of our culture in a unique way. Worship use words and music in artistic form. God is the great Artist who holds the world in the palm of His hand, the Sculptor who shaped man out of dust, the Musician who composed songs and lyrics to sing.
The only reason for man’s existence is to glorify God. We are made to create music and art to honor Him and His amazing creative power. We celebrate His creativity, as we respond to His grace. God spoke creation into being. God breathed life into us. “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord” - (Psalm 150:6). All creation excitedly pulsates with life. His mercies are new every morning. Through our music and art, we offer the sacrifice of praise to God.
What is the function of Christian art? The church needs arts to present the gospel to modern culture. Christian artists must consider what their artwork reveals to the world. Does it create the greatest impact for the Kingdom of God? Created art reflects the soul of the creator. When Christian artists love God with all their hearts, their creativity is inspired by their love for God. Art speaks loudly to the culture of our times.
Music is an expression to worship the Creator. Worship is an act of reverence. Every great work of music is created for the glory of God. The classic hymns of the Christian faith, presented in a two-thousand year repertoire of music in Christian hymnody, reverberates awesomely through the ages of time.
Hymns are distilled from the spiritual truths of God, to lead us to praise and worship Him in spirit and in truth. Hymns have a timeless and eternal freshness and power. They are a veritable fountain of divine edification. Hymns and songs proclaim God’s truth. Just like the well-gleaned promises of the Bible, a hymn is available for each need of ours, covering every single circumstance we will ever face in life.
God blesses people in every age and clime with the amazing ability to compose songs and music to glorify His name in all the earth. Sifting through the overarching heritage of our hymnody, we come to the root core of praise. The history of the church is recorded in her soul-stirring hymns while the story of Christianity can be read in its inspiring songs.
All creation sings God’s praise in a magnificent crescendo of sights and sounds as nature magnifies its Creator. The Lord created us with an extraordinary capability and unique capacity for music and song. We are designed and destined to sing His glorious praises. God loves music. He lives in the heart of our praises. When we sing His praises, our spirits respond to God’s truth. God sings through the voice of His church.
Christian artwork is as relevant today as it was in the past. It has stood the test of time for centuries. The artwork of the great artists of all time testify to the importance of art in history. Christian art is a way to teach Biblical truth to people, an art unsurpassed in the art world. Students of art study paintings and sculpture to bring the Bible alive, bridging the wide gap between Christians and modern culture, shattering the barrier between church and state and giving voice to Christian principles.
Each form of art has its own place and is powerful in its own right. Christian artwork is a modern-day parable speaking to a new culture. Christian artists reflect truth in their art to appeal to the modern culture around them, a perfect set up for the Christian artist to impact and influence the world. Artists create art for the glory of God to make an lasting impact on people. Using imaginative and innovative ways to accomplish this is the ultimate challenge of the day, just as it was in time immemorial.
We cannot underestimate the importance and significance of prayer in the creative process. Prayer connects Christian artists with a creative God, who inspires them to create music and art. Prayer purifies and softens the heart of the Christian artist, who is Spirit-led, as the Holy Spirit resides within.
Faith is the foundation of the Christian’s intellect. “By faith, we understand” – (Hebrews 11:3). Faith does not need understanding to work. This is blind faith. Faith does not need all the answers. It flows in the Spirit and seeks solutions that are out of this world. “The one who joins to the Lord is one spirit with Him” – (1 Corinthians 6:17). Connecting with the Lord of Creation opens up the clogged lines of dialogue and communication, drawing creativity and fresh inspiration from the author of Creativity.
Creativity is an integral part of the Christian life. It is the Christian’s birthright. Man was made in the image of God. We were created to create. The Bible opens with a dramatic flourish of creativity as God creates the universe. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). God is the greatest artist of all time. He unveils his handiwork with His imprint.
It is all about creating art through the Holy Spirit. Our hearts must receive creative inputs from the Holy Spirit. Why don’t you invite the Holy Spirit to create art with you? He longs to be involved in every aspect of your life. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to partner with you creatively by acknowledging your God-given imagination. God gave you an imagination for a reason. It is to do some Holy Spirit-inspired creating. Dedicate your imagination to the Lord. Ask Him to fill it with inspiring ideas and thoughts.
The Bible is full of God using out-of-the-box ideas to communicate to His people. Focus on the goodness of the Lord. As you do this, you will taste the sweet fellowship of a good relationship with the Lord. Christian art influences the world. Let your life and artwork tell the world about God. How is the world influenced by art? Turn on the radio, television and internet to find out. Art is all around us.
How does a Christian fit into this creative world of art? Ephesians 2:10 states, “We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We are God's artwork created to influence the world around us.
Creativity boldly acknowledges who you are in Christ, as you submit yourself to Him wholeheartedly, to be used as He chooses. Our lives are living testimonies for the Kingdom of God. What kind of story does your life tell to a world that thirsts for a touch from God? Let us reflect the glory of God in our lives, and create art to attract people into the Kingdom.
© Miriam Jacob
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