(Our current Sunday morning Adult Education class is focusing on the arts. Enjoy this summary from our last class, and consider joining us on Sunday mornings.)

by Joel Bascom

Most people would agree that storytelling is an art form. While painting or music or film may come to mind first when we think of art, storytelling is an ancient and rich form of art. Last Sunday, during the second week of our series on Christianity and the Arts, I took a look at the many forms of art we see in the written words of the Scriptures. We took a look at the art of the narratives in the scriptures. We examined how the historical books of the Bible are in themselves works of art, weaving together different elements to make a single, cohesive story. We also took a look at the vast scope of the poetry in the Bible. We saw that the Bible’s poetry covers a wide array of emotions and topics. These emotions and topics range from lamentable to the triumphant, from the violent to the intimate, and from the comforting to the disarming. We looked at depictions in the prophetic books of performance art, as the prophets are sometimes asked by God to do unusual things to communicate His truth. In fact, if I were to do some of the things the prophets are asked to do, I may be asking Pastor Christian or some other compassionate soul to bail me out of jail.

All of this leads us back to storytelling. Some of the most intricate and beautiful works of art come from the mouth of our Savior Himself. When asked, “Who is my neighbor?”, Jesus could have said “Everyone…just love everyone!” Instead, Jesus gives us one of the most profound and moving stories in recorded history about a traveller and a Good Samaritan. When asked to communicate the compassion the Father has for his children who have gone astray, Jesus provides a moving tale of a father who welcomes home a repentant son who has lived recklessly and sinfully. Storytelling is the one form of art we see the most from the very mouth of God, as he pitched his tent on this earth and honored us with his presence. Surely if God Himself employed artistic means to communicate his truth, we too can affirm the importance of the arts, and how they are so vital to our lives.

This Sunday, Denis Haack will be leading the class in a conversation on “Film, Story, and a Christian World View.” He will bring our discussion of art into our own age and look at how this art form both shapes and reflects our culture and how human stories follow the design of the biblical story of reality found in creation, fall, redemption and restoration. Please feel free to join us even if you have missed the previous classes.  We meet during the second service (10:45 am) in the conference room.