Monday, November 24, 2008

Artistic Immortality?

Preaching Revelation 21 this weekend, I was struck by the scene of the Holy City receiving a delivery from the kings and peoples of the earth. John Stott remarks on these verses:

At this point we need to consider Revelation 21:24,26: "The kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it" and "the glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it." We should not hesitate to affirm that the cultural treasures of the world will enrich the new Jerusalem. Nature is what God gives us; culture is what human beings make of it. Since human beings are ambiguous, so is their culture. Some of it is evil and even demonic, but some of it is also beautiful, good, and true. It is this which will adorn the Holy City."

It occurs to me that many artists seek to achieve immortality through their art outlasting their own life. So the Sistine Chapel is Michelangelo's legacy, and such pieces as the Wind Serenade No. 10 for Mozart are thought to have achieved immortality (click on post title to listen). But only as long as the chapel stands or people still play/listen to this music. There is every indication from those verses in Rev 21, however, that the beauty of our fallen world will, in some way, give glory to God in the renewed creation.

I don't think that Velvet Elvis paintings will make the cut, however...

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