110920 Weekly Devotional

For the Love of Art

The Shelter of His Wings, Devotion #13

“Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.”
–Psalm 33:3

My nephew’s wife looks forward to shopping on Black Friday every year. Me? Not so much. I’d rather enjoy the day after Thanksgiving by going to a good movie. Not happening this year though, is it? Movie theaters, along with many other avenues for the arts and entertainment, are either closed or struggling.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues its stranglehold on the nation’s art sector,” according to the website. “Over two-thirds of the nation’s artists are now unemployed.” Museums, concerts, sports events, and church services, just to name a few, have had to go to virtual platforms to survive. The unleashing of creativity in order to keep afloat would make us laugh (cardboard cut-outs at a ballgame, really?) if it weren’t so terribly sad.

To a large extent, even before the coronavirus sent us online for many more hours, the digital world had decreased the importance of art and culture in people’s lives. But whereas screen time isolates us, art and culture bring communities of people together to celebrate, offer support, and experience new things. Taking part in the arts boosts our overall physical and mental health and gives us opportunities to showcase our knowledge and talents.

“Creativity was with us in the caves, it’s in every bone in our bodies.” says writer Jerry Saltz. “Viruses don’t kill art.” And he is so right! The same God who created the world and everything in it, is still at work to bring beauty out of ashes, dancing feet to those who’ve been sidelined, and new songs to those whose voice is currently silenced. As sons and daughters of the King, what a privilege it is to petition the Lord on behalf of those who use their talents and skills in the arts to glorify God and bless His people. What a joy to know God can and is still inspiring new songs and stories. Music, art, dance, and theater, these are God’s gifts to us, to encourage, bless, uplift, and yes, entertain us. So, while my niece-in-law decides where to shop on Black Friday (with her mask in place), I just might get out my paints and brushes. Or finally get going on that third novel I have kicking around in my head. But one thing’s for certain: I’ll be ready when it’s safe, by the grace of God, to go to the movies again.

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