The text of this week’s sermon was Psalm 150, but we also heard from Picasso and other great artists. My point was that great art is the universal or elemental expressed through the personal. When we read Homer, we aren’t just reading personal stories, but revelations about who we humans are in the cosmos.
So when the Psalmist tells us to “praise God with drums and lyres” we need to translate the symbol “God” as a not as a revered object but as a mysterious source. To “praise” or “glorify” does not mean to flatter an invisible being, but to express or manifest our primordial ground through whatever art opens our heart.
I said in the sermon that art is what makes justice compassionate because I cannot possibly empathize with your pain if I cannot feel my own pleasure. Furthermore, it is art that teaches us which of the potentially infinite facts of science are meaningful for our human lives. We closed with a call to remember and return to the childhood art that once expressed who we are as humans dancing in the cosmos. I closed with the following quote:
“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.” -Hugh MacLeod