February 9, 2009 Ration

I John 1:3-4

“That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”

All works of art are a tangible expression of what the artist has seen with his eyes, or touched with his hands, or heard in his heart, mind, or imagination and enjoyed. A tangible expression is developed to put enjoyable “flesh” on what the artist was enjoying in theme. The tangible expression is then communicated to others with the hope that others may then enjoy what the artist was already delighting in. A fellowship on a theme then exists. It is this way with all artistry.

That which John has seen and heard and expressed is Christ. John looked upon Christ and touched Him with his hands. He spent years with Christ. He was loved, disciplined, and rebuked by Christ. He learned, and explicitly stated in John 1:3, that “all things were made through [Christ], and without [Christ] was not anything made that was made.” John has a worldview that everything exists because of and for Christ. And John had such amazing fellowship with Christ that he had to write this letter to proclaim how sweet fellowship with Christ and the Father is.

When in true fellowship with God, John could not ignore fellowship with others. True fellowship with God does not work that way. One cannot enjoy God greedily or selfishly by neglecting others’ joy in God. Actual and complete fellowship with God demands and results in considering those who are not enjoying that particular fellowship. Is this not why John says, “And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete”? Are there not others who could enjoy the particular fellowship that John is enjoying – believers and unbelievers alike? So as he considers others, his joy is not complete until they enjoy what he is enjoying.

This is where I have to ask myself, and all artists: Are we enjoying fellowship with God in our enjoyment of artistic pleasures? Are we even in the game? Are our artistic pleasures our enjoyment of the One who conceived of and designed artistic expression to be enjoyable to our soul and frame? And to not mince words, do we pursue our artistic pleasures from the pursuit of our fellowship with God? God is the source and creator of all things, why would we not then pursue intentional fellowship with the Author of all things pleasurable as we enjoy them?

Artists, I refer to this theme as the TWO-SPHERES CHASSIS in my artistry. I seek to focus on the inner-core sphere of personal fellowship with God in all artistic labors and disciplines so that the outer sphere of fellowship with others would be supplied by or drawn from the incomparable fellowship brewed in the inner sphere. Because, when abiding in the inner sphere of fellowship with God, and God brings others to my mind, I have to consider others' enjoyment of the fellowship with God that I am enjoying. Laboring in artistic expression, then, suddenly nourishes far beyond the tickle of the senses when it is an articulated expression of a particular, genuine fellowship with God.

So for our joys to be complete, artists, let us pursue fellowship with the Father and with the Son in our artistry, and let us share that fellowship generously with others. Our completed joy depends on it. And let’s be careful to not misconstrue: God is not a means to a greater end in art. No, God is the greater end of what is pleasurable in art.

Jason Harms


© 2009 The Gaius Project