“Let all who are wise-hearted come and make…”Exodus 35:10
Burning bushes, parting seas, clouds of fire and smoke, a golden calf – all seem more exciting than chapter after chapter of lists, details, and instructions. But this (not so little) story is the heritage of all artists and makers.
It is the story of the God ordained prototype for co-creation in the world. In this story, makers were tasked with building nothing less than a dwelling place for the Spirit of God. These “Wise-Hearted Ones” are a forgotten priesthood of sorts whose prayers were physical acts of making, offered up to God for the good of the people.
These were artists called by God to serve as artists – because the aesthetics mattered.
Too often, in my experience, artists feel (are treated) like misfits in the Church. Too many are confused about the validity and value of their work and sensibilities. And this is a problem because, their biblical calling as wise-hearted ones is no less applicable and urgent for our time. To make the invisible presence of God visible in our midst takes skill, artistry, taste and faithfulness. It is a calling given with as much purpose, intentionality and weight as that of any great leader, warrior or administrator in the Bible.
Exodus 35:10 is an invitation: “Let all who are wise-hearted come.”
It is a call as active and real today as it was thousands of years ago. Artists are invited to come at God’s behest to co-create the environments and cultures that will (re)shape us for the future. Perhaps now is a moment for artists of faith to reclaim and find strength in their heritage as “Wise-Hearted Ones.”
You can listen to “The Wise-Hearted Ones” podcast here.
Rev. Lisa Cole Smith is actor, director and pastor in the Washington, DC area. She is the founder of Convergence: A Creative Community of Faith and is currently finishing a grant project called; “Artists As Culture Makers” from the Louisville Institute to create training and spiritual formation resources for artists as culture makers (soul|makers).