We do not want merely to see beauty.
We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.
The entire universe is an expression of a creative God. From the largest galaxies all the way down to genetic code, God is flexing his beauty and creativity. The bible even goes so far as to say that restoring human beings is his poetry.
Because we are made in the image of God, we carry a deeply embedded impulse to be creative like him. We are sub-creators. Throughout all of history, in every language and culture, every corner of the world, art is always happening.
We sing, we build, we paint, we carve, we dance, we cook, we write. We create reflections of truth, beauty, goodness, compassion, grace, and redemption. But our art has a funny way of betraying that the world is not how it is supposed to be. Every person knows the ache: even the best art doesn’t change or satisfy us in the way that its beauty makes us hope for.
We tell stories: some true, some not, some hybrids. The biggest plot twist of all of human history is a true story. Two thousand years ago, God the creative Creator himself entered the plotline of human history to redeem and and renew all of creation. He shows us that when we trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus as the basis for a relationship with God, his kingdom and power come into our lives and begin to work, leading to the redemption of our creativity. Art becomes what it was meant to be.
This simple and ancient message is like a diamond with an infinite number of beautiful facets. The bible tells us that angels love to stare longingly at its beauty, like watching a sunrise. Through metaphor and symbolism, all of what happens on earth reflects the implications of what God has done for us in Jesus.
From cover to cover, the bible likewise is all about the beauty of Jesus’ gospel in all its facets. Prophets, priests, kings, judges, temples, cities, weddings, dinners, trees, lambs, stars and many other images and themes, all point to Jesus’ perfect life and sacrifice.
The resurrection of Jesus explains what God is doing with the entire world. Through the power of the gospel, everything tainted by sin is being restored—including human creativity. In this process, art becomes what it was meant to be: a siren song of the beauty of Jesus. Take it in. Be moved by it. Live in its light.
PHOTOGRAPHY AS WORSHIP
We believe art can be gospel-fluent. The goal of discipling artists is to give them new eyes, so that they see the world around them as a testimony of the gospel. When we’re engaging with the world around us, the gospel plays out in what we see: the trees, the sky, the details.
God made mankind to put words to the music that his creation makes. The song is playing everywhere, all the time, and we are meant to write the lyrics. As photographers, we can enter this priestly vocation when we have eyes to see the infinite ways that the world around us is testifying of Jesus and the gospel.