Part I - Art has always been a powerful way to express emotions. I want to show you some of my art. It tells a story. My story. Maybe this art helps expiate pain enough to allow healing. Maybe. But it points to a certain hope found in Jesus.
Throughout church history, art has had an important place in expressing Christian experience and teaching. When literacy levels were low it was art that was used to explain Biblical stories, themes and passages. Even now with the primacy of Scripture, art still has a place in telling stories and expressing human experience.
For me, the Bible is the supreme standard of how we are to know God and His message of reconciliation. But as I study the Bible I have come across potent passages that resonate strongly with me. And I find it a cathartic way to explain this mix of personal experience and Biblical exegesis through art. The following three-part series will show the Bible passages I have studied, the art developed from these passages and the story behind them.
Part 1: Wrestling with God.
I commissioned Rev. Dr. Mark Tronson to create an expression of Genesis chapter 34. The passage asks the question, “What do you live for?” and “What is so precious you would die for?”
The story is of Jacob. A man, like me, searching for meaning in life. He sought it in relationships with his father, brother, father-in-law and girlfriend. None fully satisfied, until the night he wrestled with God. Even with dawn approaching, and therefore certain death for “none will see the face of God and live,” he would not let go. He courageously asked for a blessing before he would release his grip. He had finally understood that what he had been searching for all his life was found in God. And he was willing to die to hold on to that hope.
A relationship with God, provided through Jesus, is the meaning of life. All other relationships and blessings come through this door. This is a concept that even C.S. Lewis explains, “God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there. There is no such thing.” This artwork is an expression of this Bible passage and journey.
Tronson’s art displays three figures wrestling: God wrestling with Jacob and myself. The figures, wrestling in the dark, are illumined in the rising sun’s light. It is a reminder of where blessings in life are found. It is a dawn in the search for what I want to live for. It is a reminder to us all of the importance of Scripture for finding this relationship through Jesus.
See more at http://drmarkt.weebly.com/art.html
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and Pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover.html