God of the Arts

God can speak to us through the arts.

The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship...”

   - Exodus 31.1-3

I praise the threefold Trinity as God, Who is one and three, a single power in unity, His attributes a single mystery, one God to praise. Great King, I praise you, great your glory. Your praise is true; I am the one who praises you. Poetry’s welfare is in Elohim’s care.

   - Early Welsh

The Celtic god of the arts was Lug. Celtic Christians loved the arts – poetry, music, sculpture, painting, calligraphy, and the everyday or folk arts. They embraced the great tradition of pre-Christian Celtic art and forced it into new modes and forms, imposing a Christian and Biblical narrative onto their inherited art, and using the modes of paganism to declare the glories of the Gospel. Celtic

Christians believed that God gave the gifts of art, and they rejoiced to possess, employ, and enjoy them.

It makes sense, of course, that God would be Lord of the arts. He loves things beautiful, good, and true. He made human beings in His own image, so that we, too, should enjoy and create works of art, and offer our art up to God to be pleasing and honoring to Him.

But our rationalistic and materialistic age, coupled with a poisonous democratic spirit in the arts, has diminished the importance of the arts for most people. If we have no place for poetry, music, meditation on great works of art, contemplation of beautiful architecture, and all the other grand and glorious gifts God has given – even to those who rebel against Him (Ps. 68.18)! – then we are less the people we could be as His image-bearers.

He in Whose hands is the welfare of the poet would use that poet to enrich your experience of Him. Are you willing?

Wonders of beauty, goodness, and truth await you be a more considered approach to the arts. Start with a form that you find agreeable and accessible – perhaps novels, or painting, or poetry. Seek out some Christian artists from the past or present who have worked in this genre. Then begin reading, studying, meditating, and seeking the glory of God in their art.

Your love for God will grow as you learn to love His gift of creativity in others, and in yourself as well. The arts matter, and they can matter to you.

Psalm 136.1-4 (Plainfield: “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus”)
Thank the God of gods and kings –
   For His love endures forever!
Let us our thanksgiving bring –
  For His love endures forever!
Wonders from Him abound; none other can be found
For whom our praise will sound –
  For His love endures forever!

Lord, You have created and gifted the skillful multitude of artists and saints, that they might reflect Your glory. Help me to see You in them and their works.
Adapted from Saltair na Rann

T. M. Moore, Principal
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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore