I have some people in my life who make me better in some way everytime I am around them. Justin is one of those people. He stirs fresh thinking in me everytime I am around him because he is always asking such insightful questions, just for the sake of asking them.
Justin and his wife were visiting Seattle this weekend, and we spent a wonderful day with them yesterday. We took them out to Whidbey Island to make sure they enjoyed some of the beauty outside of the city. It was a gorgeous day in a beautiful place.
As we were driving through the island, the course of the conversation led Justin to ask: “What is the kingdom of God?” Our general answer to that (or at least mine…maybe I shouldn’t speak for him), is that the kingdom of God exists anywhere the will of God is being acted out. Therefore, anywhere people are living their lives in a way that reflect the character of God — compassion, justice, mercy, love — the kingdom of God is present and at work. I realize there is nothing profound here, and that many have written about this before.
Something new did strike me about all of this, however. God is the creator. While driving around Whidbey Island, you can’t help but be overwhelmed by his artistry. The kingdom of God is not only present when we pursue compassion or justice, but also when we pursue artistry. When we create, we reflect the character of God, and so reveal the kingdom. Whether it is preparing a wonderfully tasty plate of food, writing a beautiful melody, or crafting a sculpture, creativity and beauty reflect the kingdom of God.
On a side note, as one who is passionate about the teaching of God’s truth? Wouldn’t we be better off if we primarily viewed teaching as an artform as well? Rather than simply a task or discipline to convey information, what if we saw it as an artform to inspire those we teach? The gospel is a beautiful truth — shouldn’t our sharing of it be beautiful as well?