Sacred and Secular in Union on Sundays: No divide

Each Sunday my goal is to bring a post that stresses a theological relationship to our life as artists. Sometimes we will focus on art and faith and sometimes we will focus on what being a disciple means and how that relates to our identity as artist followers of Christ.

I  named my weekly Sunday posts “Sacred and Secular in Union on Sundays. This is really a misnomer because for the believer there really is no divide that comes into union on Sunday. All of our life – our thoughts – our hopes – our desires – our jobs – our relationships – our gifts belong to God. For those of us who have been redeemed Christ’s love and work completed at the cross has created not only a change in our allegiance from our rebellious sinful selfishness but has in reality created a new creation, filled with God’s Spirit. Similar to God’s breathing life into Adam in Genesis, God for the believer breathes new life through the Spirit into us. We are now able to live life in union instead of rebellion against God. We are able to fulfill our calling as being image bearers of God. We can love his world as he does.

This week I have been studying Galatians and two verses stood out as showing this divide is not an option for believers. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is  no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20) And “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. for neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:14-16) We are new and the life that we live belongs entirely to God. With this new life comes a new way of seeing ourselves and a new way of relating to the world. One of the amazing mercies of this new creation life is that we don’t do it in our own power but the Spirit of God works in us accomplishing this way of life. We live in dependent trust that he is good and faithful. We live in dependent trust that he will complete this transformation that has occurred with our new life. We live in dependent trust that our lives can be lived to love his world the way that he would. We live in dependent trust that our gifts empowered by his Spirit in us bring him glory and reflect him to a world in need of redemption.

So if there is no divide between Sacred and Secular for us as believers how does this impact our art? It changes everything because all that we create whether explicitly religious or not is a reflection and statement about God and his redemption, about his out working plan of redeeming his fallen creation to himself. I can think of at least five ways this should change our approach to how we fulfill our identities as artist followers of Christ. 1) We recognize that by the very act of creating art we reflect God. The question we grapple with first is do we reflect him truly or inaccurately. 2) The ultimate glory in all we do is his. We must recognize his gifting of us and give him credit. We must create things that are glorifying to him. 3) There is a reality that we create as a reflection of his creative power. Don’t settle for cliché commercialism but create rich, powerful, moving art that shows his detail and care in creating. 4) If we deconstruct with our art we should deconstruct the fallen broken exploitive world. Show its dark and destructive allegiance. 5) Construct an alternative reality based in God, Christ and his spirit that tells of his love, his mercy, his redemption, that shows faith, repentance and hope, and promises the reality that one day all will be made new by him.

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