Nearly two years later, it is still difficult to write about our son, Jeremiah. For months, I could not write about his death. Then, after it became possible for me to write, I felt like anything that I wrote was far too trivial.
About a year ago, I wrote my first song about our experience and memories. Now, about two years later, I am writing my first poem. (I had tried to write one earlier, but again, it seemed too trivial.) I woke up today, a very snowy day, and was frightened by how easily I forget those lives that are so meaningful to me. I decided to write so that I could remember. I suppose it didn’t feel trivial because I was not writing for the purpose of writing a poem, but for the purpose of remembering.
This poem may evolve with time, or I may write another. In the meantime, you are welcome to read my first attempt: joeljupp.com/poetry.html
Recently I was asked about my view of the arts in local church. I thought I’d post my brief response, in case it is helpful to anyone.
When it comes to the creative arts, I believe that art is a wonderful part of the Christian life. Various passages of Scripture reveal that God loves creativity, He enjoys various expressions of art, and He desires to be glorified through the arts.
In the local church, creativity’s primary purpose is to glorify God. A theme verse of mine has been Psalm 115:1, though there are many to support this. In no particular order, secondary purposes of the creative arts include: (1) delighting in creation, (2) expressing ourselves to God, (3) soothing/reviving our spirit, (4) edifying the church with sound doctrine, and (5) testifying to non-believers.
Worship is important to God and to His people. Although the creative arts should be enjoyable — very enjoyable — it is far more than being a form of entertainment. As I see it, the arts serve as the intersection between theology and expression. In biblical terms, this means worshiping in “spirit and truth.” We get into trouble when we neglect one or the other.
Finally, worship extends far beyond music and the other arts. It includes all of our actions. 1 Corinthians 10:31 makes it clear that we can even glorify God in our common, everyday activities, which extends far beyond a few hours on Sunday. (And based upon Amos, it is fair to say that this “daily worship” is much more important than the music on Sunday morning.) In a sense, creative arts are not an end in themselves, but a means towards greater service, sacrifice, love, etc. Worship beyond Sunday morning is the real test for the Church, and which ultimately determines the validity of its corporate worship.
Very rarely do I post links to other websites, but this one is so beneficial, I couldn’t resist.
If you are interested in worship or lead worship at your church, Sovereign Grace has graciously posted 37 audio sessions on their website at:
Worship conferences usually cost several hundred dollars, so this is a blessing for those of us without such resources. Although I did not attend the conference, these audio sessions are the next best thing.
Over the past two weeks, I wrote and recorded two new songs — “Tonight” and “Brand New.”
Be sure to check them out. Both are available for $1 at DiscRevolt.com.
Animoto is kind of scary, yet also very cool. Using this service, you can insert photos and music, and it automatically creates a video. This is an extremely practical tool if you need a quick alternative to a slideshow. My guess is that these videos will soon be all over the internet.
I suppose that some people would consider randomness to be art. (Some fractals, for instance, are random.) But randomization can only go only go so far, especially if it requires little or no skill on our part.
As we enter into a new realm of technological possibilities, we should enjoy the latest forms of digital art, but we need to avoid confusing the latest technology with art.
Just as with any other decision that we make, it would be fair to say that true art must involve willful intent. Beauty can happen by accident, but not art.