Thursday, December 16, 2010

Painting Theo-logy

I am so excited about our new Children’s ministry space. We’re making great progress and it is awesome! It’s fascinating to watch each room progress. I have to admit, at first, some of the artwork was confusing and messy, but each time I go back, I see the progress and I am more and more amazed.

Saturday, I was admiring the work of one of our artists airbrushing when he looked up at me and said, “you wanna give it shot?” I said, “uh, well, I’m a pastor not a painter, and I want this children’s space to look nice, so I’ll just pass, but thanks a lot.”

This particular artist’s name is Theo (which just so happens to come from the Greek word “theos,” which is the word for “God” which makes him the first Theo) and just like God, Theo knew I had abilities in me that he knew he could draw out. So, he said, “ah come on, try it, you can do it, I’ll show you how; come here.” So, emboldened by his belief in me, I thought, “I’ll give it a shot, if I mess it up, Theo can probably fix it anyway.”

Next thing I knew, he had taught me how to hold the airbrush just right and artfully depress the trigger, releasing a mixture of air and paint while deftly swinging my hand in a precise arc that combined proximity and speed for maximum results. I was amazed. He just grinned knowingly. When you enter what’s called the Giant room (for two year olds), and marvel at the huge blades of grass, just remember, I contributed to the art work (albeit an extremely small part) of that very cool room.

It’s all because of Theo.

The study of God, his nature and character, his attributes and how he works in our world, is called Theo-logy. But God doesn’t express himself and his nature just to himself; he loves to create and then to interact with his creation, especially the crown of his creation: human beings. He is always working in us, creating and shaping and personally handcrafting in us his divine art. Like a working artist, things may look messy at first, and you may not even recognize what he’s crafting, but when it’s all done, it’s a masterpiece. The New Living translation of Eph. 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” God is a master artist, utilizing his perfect wisdom and skill to bring about his purposes in our lives. He is making us like Christ.

Next time you feel like you or a fellow Christian’s life is messy or far from Christlike, remember it’s a process and to withhold judgment until it’s all done and the masterpiece is complete: Christlikeness. And when we get to heaven and finally are like Christ, we can all smile and say to each other:

It’s all because of Theo.

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