Monday, April 25, 2011

“. . . art lost its basic creative drive the moment it was separated from worship. It severed an umbilical cord and now lives its own sterile life, generating and degenerating itself.” (Ingmar Bergman)

I found this interesting quote early this morning. It is a favorite quote of a woman who wrote a book on forgiveness. I have to try to get her book when I am back in the states, but it seems, from the reviews, that she has written a good, balanced, first-hand account of her journey forgiving someone who killed her son. However, that is another story.

Two things strike me about this quote. One, when I am telling my students that God made them and loves them, that God made them with creative arts capacity as a reflection of Himself, then I am connecting them with their creator in a worshipful way. This is a good way to connect them with Him and honor Him for what He has done and who He is.

Two, the visual artist should not be excluded from the worship arts in our churches. Visual artists got kicked out, so to speak, and haven't really been invited back, save for a few churches worldwide who understand the connection between art and worship. Of course, each local body will have its' own expressions of visual arts, but churches should not be devoid of visual art in their corridors, sanctuaries and places of fellowship. So many just do not understand this.

I ask musicians if they'd like to be removed from making music in church, and they eagerly engage in that discussion. So, why the disconnect for visual art? I am praying my place of worship becomes more inviting toward visual artists, so my church family is a part of restoration for the visual artist and worship.

This sterile separation of art and worship can be seen in Moroccan mosaic art as well. The mosaic tiles seen at most mosques, in my opinion, are for the benefit of the worshipper to numb up, so to speak, and not really be cut to one's soul and make connection with our creator God. However, the art there does work in concert with tenants of the Islamic faith.

Just my musings today....

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