Friday 13 June 2014

Bible Book:

] with the divine spirit, with skill, intelligence and knowledge in every kind of craft, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, in every kind of craft.” (vv. 31-33)

Exodus 35:30 - 36:1 Friday 13 June 2014


Today's passage is in part a repetition of Exodus31:1-6. In Exodus 31, the Lord says these words to Moses, andnow Moses is relaying the information to the Israelites. What issignificant however, is the change in the retelling. Moses says tothe Israelites that God has given both Bezalel and Oholiab theability to teach others (verse 4). So here God's Spirit is both aspirit of creativity and of teaching.

The Church has had a varied view of the arts down the centuries,many masterpieces have been commissioned and are displayedresplendently in churches and cathedrals. Correspondingly theChurch has also criticised and condemned art which it considers tobe profane. Hundreds of years ago actors were even excommunicated and denied a Christian burial because of theirprofession.

In the final verse we read that the gift of the Sprit is putinto practice - "Bezalel and Oholiab and everyone skilful to whomthe Lord has given skills and understanding to know how to to doany work in the construction of the sanctuary in accordance withall that the Lord has commanded" (Exodus 36:1).

It is not only a gift that is given, but also a gift that is tobe shared.

To Ponder

  • How do you view art? What do you consider to be sacred orprofane? Are they boundaries that Christ art or art by Christiansshould not cross? If so, what are they?
  • If someone asked you to describe what Christian art is, whatwould you say? What would  you say is its purpose?
  • What gifts (creative or not) has God's Holy Spirit given you?How do you share them?
  • If you have time, have a look at the pictures in the MethodistModern Art Collection. Which ones catch your eye? Why?
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