Is There Art in Heaven?
Is there art in heaven? A curious question with serious implications.
Heaven will be a haven for creatives. It will be inspiring, empowering and a breath of fresh air that will last for eternity. Artists will be able to continue the work they loved here on earth. This will not be true for all professions. For instance – missionaries and evangelists will need to find other ways to use their gifts. Much of what we take for granted as normal in this world will not be needed in heaven. I remember hearing John Piper make the great point that in heaven evangelism will cease, missions will cease and apologetics will cease, but worship will never cease. What a beautiful picture. Is there art in heaven? Absolutely!
Your Calling Beyond the Grave
Do you question your calling when you have a vision or idea but lack something critical to get it to fruition? Your frustrations may stem from the lack of opportunity, resources or support for a project you are deeply passionate about. This may be true whether you are wildly successful and have grand dreams that require millions of dollars to produce, or if you are poor and have very few resources. The temptation is to question something about your calling. Artist often think that if God gave you this passion and inspiration, he would provide a way for it to happen in this life.
The problem is we live in a fallen world. People in many different professions will never fully see their dreams realized. This isn’t a reason to doubt your calling. On the contrary, living in a fallen world is a constant reminder for us to long for heaven. In heaven we will not have to worry about the thorns and the weeds, or even the wolves pretending to be sheep. We will be immeasurably more free to pursue our passions and glorify God in the process. If you are struggling with your calling right now, I encourage you to take our free masterclass on The Artists Calling.
Always Singing a New Song
We will never stop singing “a new song”, as King David always strived to do. When I was a pastor in New York, our Young Life leader shared a song with me by Chris Rice called, “The Best Song Ever”. It captures this eternal longing of creatives to keep trying to write a new song that fully expresses the gospel in a way we haven’t yet captured. Here is a sample of the lyrics from that song:
What’s the magic in the music
And why does it bring us together like this
We all have a longing inside
And it keeps us singing song after song after song…
We’re all waiting for the best song ever
It’s somewhere out there, and everyone can feel it
We keep waiting for the best song ever
And when it arrives the whole world’s gonna hear it
Yeah, the best song ever
Someday we’ll all be singing it together
We will never stop coming up with new ways to express ourselves and share our creativity with others – whether it is in the context of worship or the context of work. We were made in God’s image, and given a desire to create, communicate, and to share new ideas in new ways with our peers and God. This passion will always be part of who we are, but in heaven we won’t have the drain of anxiety, guilt, shame, or other frustrations.
God is Extravagant, not Utilitarian
Creativity will always flourish because it flows from God’s character. Gold streets were not created by God because of mere utility. They are extravagant. The God we worship is a God of extravagant love, extravagant beauty and extravagant community. That is the God we love and why we love him.
Why else would heaven be described as a feast and a wedding. It is a place of joy, celebration and beauty. It is impossible to imagine such a place without imagining awe inspiring furniture, lighting, food and flowers to accompany the feast. In such a city, by necessity there will be great chefs, innovative lighting designers, cutting edge furniture designers, architects and all sorts of creative minds pushing the envelope to create even greater festivity and community. In so doing they will continue the cycle by inspiring further creativity. There will be art in heaven and artists will be celebrated as part of the community using their gifts to bless one another.
God did not create the Garden of Eden to tell us don’t touch anything. On the contrary, he commanded Adam and Eve to take care of the garden. Their children were the originators of music, farming, and caring for livestock. They created new plants through grafting and new animals were through breeding. From the beginning God gave us a desire to create and comment on his creation. Heaven will not be different. Except now we will hear our father in heaven, join us, and rejoice over our new music, architecture, dance and theater.
How Do We Then Create?
If heaven is what we are promised, then we ought to keep it before our imagination in this life. It will be our final home, and it will be the one place where we will find the peace and joy we long for. The Lord’s Prayer, given to us by Jesus himself in Matthew 6 compels us to pray,
“Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come
They will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven!”
Our creativity here on earth should never be seen apart from the creativity in heaven. Our hearts are directed in The Lord’s Prayer to long for heaven, and to draw others toward that same longing. It is a longing for justice, hope, joy and peace. Art in this world may depict the disparity between the injustice of The Now and the complete peace of The Not Yet we will experience in heaven, but for a believer it should never lose a hint of the longing for heaven.
As Bono put it,
“I’m a musician. I write songs. I just hope when the day is
done I’ve been able to tear a little corner off of the darkness.”
If we believe God’s word, we know our longings direct our hearts toward heaven. We want God’s will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. As artists and professional creatives, we know our inspiration comes from God, and our creative work was meant to honor God. This is true whether you are an artist who longs to address injustice, an artist who brings clarity to the truth, or an artist who brings the peace of Christ to those who are wounded. There are countless ways to express this, but our intent is the same – bring glory to God and create a yearning for heaven. Art is a gift of God and will be a part of life from now until eternity.
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Copyright © 2020 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.