Art has been a source of self-expression and identity since the beginning of time, and its connection to our identity can be found throughout the scriptures. From the first book of the Bible to the last, the importance of art in shaping our understanding of ourselves and our connection to others is evident.
In the book of Genesis, we see that God is the first artist. He creates the universe and all the living creatures in it, and then creates human beings in his own image. This act of creation establishes a deep connection between God and humanity, and our ability to create art is one way in which we reflect this divine image.
Throughout the Old Testament, we see art used in worship and as a form of communication. The Israelites were instructed to build the tabernacle, a place where God’s presence could dwell, using fine materials and skilled craftsmanship. The tabernacle was adorned with intricate artwork, including embroidered curtains and ornate carvings, and these decorations served to enhance the worship experience.
The book of Psalms is a treasure trove of artistic expression, with poems and songs that explore the human experience in all its complexity. Many of these psalms are attributed to David, a skilled musician and songwriter who used his art to connect with God and express his emotions. In Psalm 139, David writes, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” This passage highlights the connection between art, identity, and spirituality, as David acknowledges that his identity is intricately tied to his creator.
In the New Testament, we see Jesus using art to connect with people and convey his teachings. He often used parables, stories that employ vivid imagery and symbolism, to illustrate his points. The parables of the mustard seed and the sower, for example, use imagery from agriculture to communicate deep truths about faith, growth, and the kingdom of God.
The apostle Paul also recognizes the importance of art in shaping our identity. In his letter to the Ephesians, he writes, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This passage reinforces the idea that we are created in God’s image and that our identity is tied to our ability to create and to do good in the world.
In conclusion, the scriptures affirm the importance of art in shaping our identity and connecting us to our creator. Whether it’s building a beautiful temple, writing a psalm, painting a landscape, or telling a parable, our artistic expression reflects our divine image and helps us to understand our purpose and place in the world. May we continue to create and to use our art to glorify God and to bless others.