Create Beauty… Even if It’s Not Beautiful

Posted: August 1, 2015 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
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I have a piece of art I do that is not beautiful. As a matter of fact it’s ugly and it keeps getting uglier, by design. There are days here I wonder if it is not my mot important piece. I do it live, and it is getting thicker every time. I wish I would run out of resources and have to stop using it, but short of Christ’s return, my guess is I will not run out of material. It’s called The Cross of Sin.

It’s harsh, it’s offensive looking. Picture a six foot wooden cross covered with newspaper clippings. Clippings of sin and it’s effects on our world. I never run out, sadly. Some people question why I would take all that ugliness and attach it to a symbol of Christ. Well it didn’t start off as a symbol of Christ. At it’s harshest, the cross is a symbol of torture and death, the first century electric chair, only a whole lot more brutal. The reason we are so attached to it is for one reason and one reason only, Jesus changed the story. He took a symbol of death and destruction and made it a symbol of life and hope. Why would I cover that with images of sin? Because Jesus did.

2 Corinthians 5 says “He who knew no sin, became sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus took our sin and nailed it to the cross, paying the price for all time for all who would believe. Because He bore your sin to the cross, you and I can be based clean.

In my presentations I tell the story from John 19. Everything that was done to Jesus, I do to the cross. The beatings, the crown of thorns and the nails as a way of dramatizing what was done. Making people see it in a way that is tangible. It seems to have the desired impact. Of course I don’t leave Him there, but that is a different piece of art. When I finish the presentation, I go to the newspapers and cover it all over again.

The piece is brutally ugly, and yet in it’s ugliness is beauty. It says something Jesus has been saying all along, ever since he stretched out his arms and said “I love you this much.”

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