God the Artist and Jesus the Muse

tim-arterbury-126157From the beginning of time, God has been in love.

First, He was in love with the most pure, Holy, and right being in the universe for anyone to love–Himself. And this love of God for Himself has always been expressed in the relationship between God the Father and God the Son.

Eventually this explosion of love between God and His Son overflowed to the point where it had to be shared with others. Out of this ridiculously pure and holy love, God the Father was driven to create. So He said “Let there be light,” and “Let there be space between the waters,” and “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night” and so on. The crowning act of love expressing itself in art by these two was expressed on the sixth day: “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us,” (Genesis 1:26).

So everything that was created was created, not out of utility, but out of love. The Father loved the Son (because the Son was the exact expression of the Father) and that love culminated in the creation of the Earth. You and I and the computers or phones we are reading this on and the chairs we sit in and the views we see from where we sit were all designed as an expression of love for God. God creates out of love for Himself and now out of love for us.

Friends, we are all artists. We were designed to be like God. We were made in His likeness. Not only that, but when we decide to follow Christ, God promises that the very Spirit of God comes to live inside of us.  This Holy Spirit contains the very creativeness of God within Him, so as believers we should be some of the most creative people on the face of the planet.  Not all of us will paint or write or sing, but all of us will create. It’s part of our nature and part of having the Spirit of God within us.

While we are all called to be creative, not all of us are. By looking at the example of God, we see that true creativity is birthed out of love.  Truly creative ideas, the kind that change the world and leave a mark on history, aren’t birthed out of selfishness and the desire to be an artist. They are birthed out of a passionate love that grips the artist so that he or she creates must create. If we want to be an artist, we must fall in love.

The secular world talks frequently of muses. Originally these were daughters of Zeus who as spirits inspired artists and scientists. In today’s world we use the word to refer to people who become the inspiration for our art. These muses give writers and directors and painters ideas and provoke art. But from the beginning of time, God had One muse: His Son.

Our level of creativity as Christians is tied to the level that we are loving and musing on Jesus. The more we love Christ and think on Him, the more creative we will become, because our creativity will be birthed from the same fountain that caused God the Father to create the Earth. Paul wrote that without love we are a noisy gong or clanging symbol. The love of Christ compelling us to create keeps us from that kind of gaudy, temporary, short-lived art that doesn’t really matter. Love for Christ frees us to make art that resonates for eternity.

So work at expanding your skills. Get better at whatever your craft is. But in all your attempts to be a better artist, muse on Christ. Love Him well. The love of Him will fill you inspiration to create from a place of purity and inspiration the world will never be able to replicate.

In all your getting, artist, get a love for Christ.

[Related: Jonathan Edwards on the Relationship of the Trinity]


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About traviskolder

Travis Kolder is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father of five, an organic church planter, and a writer. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he serves as part of the Cedar Rapids House Church Network.

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