Artists rescue us from a life in which the wonder has leaked out, Christ plays in ten thousand places, De-mystify, Eugene Peterson, Every birth can return us to the wonder of Jesus birth, God's most encompassing creation, Our need for wonder, Re-mystify, The glory of life, The mystery of life
Perhaps this has been a year when the wonder has leaked out; perhaps this whole Christmas season suffers from continual demystification. Good thing then that we have artists who have the potential to re-mystify us. Here is an excerpt from Eugene Peterson that speaks to our need for wonder:
“Artists, poets, musicians, and architects are our primary witnesses to the significance of the meaning of “virgin” in the virgin birth as ‘a summons to reverence and worship.’ Over and over again they rescue us from a life in which the wonder has leaked out. While theologians and biblical scholars have argued… our artists have painted Madonnas, our poets have provided our imaginations with rhythms and metaphors, our musicians have filled the air with carols and anthems that bring us to our knees in adoration, and our architects have designed and built chapels and cathedrals in which we can worship God.
Madeleine L’Engle’s poem “After Annunciation” tells us why:
This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d have been no room for the child.
… The story of Jesus’ birth is our entry into understanding and participating in the play of creation. But every birth can, if we let it, return us to the wonder of Jesus’ birth, the revelation of sheer life as gift, God’s life with us and for us.
God is the Creator and his most encompassing creation is human life, a baby…”
In speaking about the birth of one of his grandchildren, Peterson wrote:
“I have climbed mountain peaks that gave me views of glaciated mountains in wave after wave of ranges, but none of those breathtaking vistas was comparable to seeing that baby enter the world; I have heard the most delicate and exquisite birdsong and some of the best musicians in the world, but no sounds rivalled the cries of that baby… I was captured by the wonder of life, the miracle of life, the mystery of life, the glory of life.”
P. 57, 58, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, Eugene Peterson.
Jesus is the ultimate artist who rescues us when the wonder has leaked out. He re-mystifies the morbidly material rationalists; He stirs the soul of the most fastidious concrete thinker; He enlivens all whom He touches…
For we are God’s poems (poiema ~ ποιημα) created in Christ Jesus to inspire good art” (my paraphrase of Ephesians 2:10).