Friday, February 1, 2013

Art and the City

On a trip to San Jose to visit Valley Christian High School (an amazing and impactful school), I was prompted to think about how Christian Artists can have an impact in San Jose and the bay area. Two to three weeks ago I was listening to Francis Chan's heart for the bay area and especially the tenderloin area in San Francisco. Chan is a visionary of the obvious. Trust me whene I say I mean that as a compliment. What I mean is that he reads the bible as truth and then thinks about how best we, as Christians, should do what the bible says to do. He was struck by the great commission (something I have written about on more than one occasion in this blog), and in a simple, honest moment, wondered if he was really living it out. He found out the answer was no, so he quit his church and moved to San Francisco to start a grassroots movement on sharing the good news with the impoverished of the city.

WOW! It takes guts to realize that perhaps the U.S. is still one of the biggest mission fields and we have not been doing our job to spread the good news.

What Francis did resonated within me deeply (that whole day after I heard him speak, I was in a funk because I knew I was guilty of the same thing he said he did prior to San Francisco). I started thinking about the power of artistry and a thought came to me.

Hope destroys the tyranny of oppression.

I remeber thinking this thought when discussing the redemption of the Middle East after Gaza attacked Israel in 2012. I thought to myself... One way we could solve the problems in the middle east is if we built a Disney World in the middle of it and invited everyone there for free.

Sounds crazy...yes. But what is amazing about Disney is that Disney is in the business of dreams and hope and magic. Walt Disney believed that life was still about castles and dragons and princesses and pirates and great adventures and good overcoming evil. A Disney World in the center of th middle east would spark the imagination, then dreaming and then hope...and hope is contagious and whene there is hope, oppression exists no longer.

What is interesting about art is that:

 Art stimulates the imagination, the imagination sparks the ability to dream, dreaming allows for hoping, and hope elicits an action.

If we use art as part of the mission to reach the city, we can create hope and hope will change lives.  If the action of hope is a search for truth and a search for something better...than most assuredly it will lead to Christ.

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