Christmas: Seeing is believing.

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Seeing is believing.

When God wants humans to know of His love, God sometimes tells them about it, through prophets, apostles, pastors, teachers and the scriptures themselves.

Sometimes God shows us¢â‚¬¦
¢â‚¬¢ a burning bush.
¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢ a flame to guide by night and a cloud to follow by day.
¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢¢â‚¬¢ the red sea parted so the children of Israel could cross over in to the promised land.

Christmas is about SEEING—God shows His love. We read the words—“God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten son¢â‚¬¦not to condemn the world, but that the world through him would be saved¢â‚¬¦” We read the words¢â‚¬¦but Christmas is about seeing¢â‚¬¦The WORD became flesh.

Jesus’ helps us see God’s glory, We watch his daily interactions with sinners and saints and observe that he is “full of grace and truth.”

One of the tragedies of the 20th century was the abandonment by many Christians of the visual arts. Some Christians were told not to go to the cinema. Art was perceived as peripheral or for the elite¢â‚¬¦or dangerous because it so often asks questions instead of providing answers¢â‚¬¦Art is full of mystery–but then, so is the Christmas story!

Abandoning the visual arts is tragic for many reasons.

1) It is bad for artists because they feel isolated and abandoned in what God has called them to do.
2) It is bad for us, because God gave us eyes to see¢â‚¬¦and by diminishing the visual arts, we’ve voluntarily made ourselves blind.
3) It is bad for the world¢â‚¬¦especially today, because “we live in a culture that has shut it’s ears¢â‚¬¦ but its eyes remain wide open.”

During this Christmas Season I want to urge you to take advantage of the visual arts¢â‚¬¦

1) Visit your local Museum of Art. Spend time in front of a painting with incarnational themes and ask, “what is the artist seeing and what do I need to see?”

2) Go to the ballet and see the gliding movement and remember at creation the spirit moved over the waters¢â‚¬¦

3) Go to the theatre and allow your perception of Christmas to be stretched by a movie like “The Nativity Story.” Let it be a springboard for discussion with friends and family about people and events around Jesus birth.

4) Buy original art for yourself or as a Christmas gift from a young aspiring artist in your church¢â‚¬¦

5) Ask your younger children to draw a picture about some aspects of Jesus birth and talk to them about it.

6) Encourage the kid whose performance shines through in the Christmas pageant¢â‚¬¦maybe he’s the next Olivier or maybe she’s the next Meryl Streep.

When God become flesh He helped us to see¢â‚¬¦

Art, film, live theatre help us see too¢â‚¬¦

What better time to celebrate the visual arts than during the Christmas Season with its reminder of Jesus becoming flesh to help us see?

I suspect if we started to take the visual arts more seriously, we would jump up like Blind Bartimaeus when Jesus healed him. We might blurt out, “I was blind and now I see!”

Seeing is Believing.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in December 7, 2006 by | No Comments »

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