Curious Christian

Curious Christian: Worship is Painting a Picture of Eternity

We're going to have an awesome time together at this class. Now, we're going to paint pictures and we're going to talk about painting pictures of how good God is. 

My favorite story is a picture about an artist who was part of exploration of the early American West. My family and I went on this RV trip a couple of years ago. I took my kids all across America. One of the most beautiful and just compelling places for me was Zion National Park. It's a beautiful, beautiful place. I took my boys there and it was one of those things where the palpable presence of God, this for me, I felt his presence there in a unique and transformative way, transcendent way. And I learned about this artist named Dellenbaugh.

Early explorers of the American West always brought a photographer or painter with them when they were exploring the American West. This is late 1800s. And so young Dellenbaugh was a man who was a painter on an expedition to explore what's now Zion National Park and Zion Canyon. And he began painting Zion Canyon. He began painting the beautiful mountains there, recording what he'd seen with his own eyes. And then he took the paintings back to the East Coast. And there he shown them in the galleries of New York City.

The people who first saw his paintings thought they were pictures of a fantasy place he'd conceived in his mind. But he was able to say this picture is representative of a real place, and you could go there if you wanted to.

I think for Christian creatives, a lot of our work is to do our best with the medium that we have to first go and seek the presence of God for our own souls, see him for who he is, discover his glory, look into his word, and then try and take the things that we've gotten into our own eyes and our own hearts, use it to paint pictures, the kind of pictures that would compel other men and women to go for themselves and to see how beautiful, how awesome God is.

That's one of the jobs of a worship leader, painting a beautiful picture. In his own words, Dellenbaugh said something that was very inspiring to me. He said this about Zion Canyon. There's almost nothing to compare to it. Niagara has the beauty of energy, the Grand Canyon of immensity, the Yellowstone of singularity, Yosemite of altitude, the ocean of power, but this great temple of eternity.

I think you and I as worship leaders have a chance to paint a picture of eternity. A lot of times we're asked to do it in four songs or 18 minutes, whichever comes first, but we're painting a picture of eternity and how powerful and how beautiful God is. That's what our job is.

This snippet was drawn from the class, Worship Pastors and their Teams, by Carl Cartee on BiblicalTraining.org. You can see the class here. The snippet was drawn from the first lesson.

For more on Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh see wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Samuel_Dellenbaugh