I once interviewed Penn Jillette. He told me that he thought everything we did after our chores were done was art. Everything! He included things like French Renaissance paintings hanging in the Louvre and mall Santas. He thought Mall Santas were a form of artistic expression! That’s a broad definition, for sure. But, what if he’s right? Even more than that, what if it’s not just what we do that is art? What if we are art ourselves?
In Ephesians 2:10 Paul describes our created nature: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
We are God’s workmanship. The word “workmanship” can also be taken to mean craftsmanship or artistry. God — the master artist — created us to be creative works of art. It sounds like we are God’s art. The implications are that since we are created in the image of the most creative being in existence, then we are all small creators ourselves.
Why would God design us this way? Maybe God loves beauty. Maybe God loves to see our creative expressions of beauty, because they reflex his own creations, and, in a way, display His own beauty.
The artistry of man is a reflection of God’s artistry.
This means that all the art that we create — from wood sculptures to Gothic cathedrals to finger paints (and maybe even mall Santas) can be expressions of beauty that point towards God’s beauty. We glorify God in our art.
But what is that art? Maybe it’s everything we do.
Our word technology comes from the root word techne. It’s an old Greek word that means craftsmanship, craft, or art. In ancient Greek society, an artist had to me a master of the technology he used in his craftsmanship. Art and technology were intertwined. There wasn’t much distinction, because in a world before molded plastic and factory assembly lines, everything was hand made. Technology was art.
We are God’s art. We are God’s technology. We are all miniature creators with the capacity to make beautiful works of technology.
Say what you will about Apple, but it seems to understand this importance of industrial esthetics. It is a technology company, but everything it makes is constructed with an craftsman’s touch. They believe that it is important for something as industrial as a phone to look sleek. Do you think God see some worth in that?
How might that change your approach to your job, your hobbies, or your relationships? You may be a plumber, or a doctor, or a math teacher, but you are also a reflection of the One who created sunsets. That’s amazing! Everything you do should scream back a reflection of how amazing our Creator is!
– Ben Reeves