His workmanship

Why you are a work of art!

This past week my wife and I visited the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. It is a museum that hosts among things exhibitions of contemporary art. One of the exhibits was a work of art by Robert Gober created in the late 1980s entitled “Untitled Door And Door Frame” and the elements used were “wood, enamel paint.” This particular “work” consisted of two major elements. First there was a wood framed doorway, the only entrance into a white ten by fourteen windowless, featureless room. The door frame was painted with a healthy coat of creamy beige enamel. Inside the room leaning against the opposite wall farthest from the doorway was the second element of the “work” – an old six-panel interior door without a door knob or latch which was also painted a creamy beige.
Like so much of modern art, it takes a right-brained creative to fully appreciate the categorization of certain things as “art.” And this display by Gober, constructed and arranged using such common objects was no exception. Typically when most people think of art they imagine works like the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci or The Pieta by Michelangelo.
To a left-brained home fixit guy like myself, Untitled Door And Door Frame looked more like an unfinished project and anything but a work of art. In my linear, structured way of thinking the paint was dry so why not get the necessary hardware, grab the door and install the hinges and latch set, measure the doorframe to match, install its hinges and mount the door?
Perhaps that is some of the emotional response Gober was looking for when he came up with his idea. I know that good art is meant to be evocative but typically we associate the response of its beholder be one of aesthetic enjoyment rather than frenetic deployment.
It raises a very important question “When is art, art?”

Why you are a work of art! Read More »

The reason for two tablets

“See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” Hebrews 8:5 (God speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai)

Most people mistakenly think that the reason God used two stone tablets for inscribing the ten commandments was because all ten of them would not fit on one. This assumption is not only erroneous but it robs us of the true meaning and intention of God extending His covenant to humankind.

In Mel Brook’s 1981 movie The History of the World we have a comedic rendition of Moses and the Ten Commandments. We see Moses coming down the mountain with three stone tablets. Just as he is in the process of presenting them to the Israelites he accidentally drops one of them. “Hear me, oh hear me, all pay heed, the Lord, the Lord Jehovah has given unto you these 15 …. (a tablet slips from his hands and shatters on the ground) . . .These 10 . . . .10 commandments for all to obey.”

The truth is, and Biblical scholars agree, God instructed Moses to chisel two stone tablets because His intention was to create two exact copies. We know from the scriptures that the very finger of God inscribed them “on both sides, front and back.” (Exodus 31:18 & 32:15) What isn’t specifically communicated, but is commonly understood in the context of Biblical times, is that whenever a covenant was made, duplicate copies of the agreement were created so that both parties would have a copy. That same principal of course continues to this day with every legal agreement. Both parties are supplied with exact copies for their reference and compliance.

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for covenant, berith, is used nearly 300 times. There are basically two types of covenants: covenants between equals and covenants between a greater and a lesser. God’s covenant with humankind is the latter. It is a covenant initiated and extended by Him as the ultimate greater, to His creation, the lesser. It can be accepted or rejected but it cannot be changed. This is typical of most greater to lesser covenants, like that of a ruler to a subject. However, as with all God’s promises, His covenants are initiated primarily to benefit of the lesser, for the purpose of protecting and prospering them.

The reason for two tablets Read More »

Discovering a sense of Divine Purpose

“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16 NIV)

It is my belief that God has a unique purpose and calling for everyone whom He creates. Both the Old and New Testament repeatedly refer to the fact that God in a very real sense calls us to be His from our mother’s womb. Psalm 139 written by King David and quoted above is one of the most poignant portions of scripture in describing God’s hand upon our lives even before our birth. It is to this truth that Apostle Paul is referring when he pens a thousand years later “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Discovering this sense of divine purpose can have a dramatic and motivating effect upon a person’s life. Jeremiah’s entire life was shaped by the realization that God’s plan for him was set in motion while he was yet in his mother’s womb. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV) Isaiah had a similar experience being called by God even before his birth to an amazing prophetic ministry. (Isaiah 49:1) And even Paul discloses in one of his epistles that “God set me apart from birth and called me by his grace.” (Galatians 1:15 NIV) That understanding gives us a sense of what propelled him in his life of unceasing travel and writing for the cause of the furtherance of the Gospel.

Have you come to recognize God’s purposeful involvement in your life? Have you begun to realize His unique calling upon you? Do not be too quick to dismiss the likes of Jeremiah and Paul as people with whom you cannot identify. Albeit, few callings are as lofty as theirs, but nonetheless each of us is similar to them in that we are meant to know God’s purpose for our lives.

Discovering a sense of Divine Purpose Read More »

Scroll to Top