Bible Study & The Arts

Let’s dream of possibilities today. Earlier this morning my boss, Ken Kessler, sent an e-mail of a blog by Frank Viola (See Below.) I was reminded that music and the arts are powerful tools in helping our students connect to truths in Scripture. For too long, the arts (outside of music) have been placed on a back burner in many churches. Most of our churches have artists who are looking to express their faith in creative ways, and we have not commissioned them to do so.

In our visually and musically driven world it is time for us to think about music and the arts again to bring new senses to our Bible study classes. Imagine teaching a lesson on the 23rd  Psalm while an artist paints a picture of a gentle shepherd and nature scene, or a picture of Jesus kneeling in intense prayer as you talk about your own struggles in life. Instead of  simply talking about the creation story in Genesis, have class members making parts of creation with the use of Play Doh in their hands as they listen to Rich Mullins song (I See You), or teach the Potter’s story in Jeremiah with a potter at the wheel as they talk about ways God is recreating them.

The options for adding art are as endless as your imagination will take you and the artists in your church. Get with a couple of artists in your church or community and plan a unit with their help. See what God can do through the arts to bring energy to your Bible study class. Below is the blog from Frank Viola:

AMAZING New Recording of a New Song – EPHESIANS REMIXED

Posted: 03 Jul 2012 02:25 AM PDT

I’m super jazzed about today’s post.

Back in 2009, I wrote a song based on a series of messages I delivered on Ephesians.

To my mind, Ephesians 1 and 2 are among the most sublime passages in all the New Testament. And so I wanted to put the key thoughts to music.

The song is called “In Christ.” I wrote the first stanza, the chorus, and the bridge. The church to whom I delivered the messages wrote the next two stanzas in response to an assignment I gave them during the talks.

The song is sung to the tune of “2 A.M.” by Anna Nalick.

Four of my blog readers learned the song and recorded it.

And, well, their recordings blew me away!

Click the links below to hear each recording. You won’t regret it.

The lyrics follow . . . but reading the lyrics alone isn’t the same as hearing them sung. The recordings bring the words to life.

I recommend listening to the song while you read the lyrics. I’m confident the recordings will touch your heart and shed fresh light on Ephesians 1 and 2.

Let your friends know about this post so they can hear these amazing recordings too. Use the share buttons below.

Click here to listen to Rachel Smith sing it with guitar (Rachel is a professional musician. I’ll be interviewing her on the blog next week.)

Click here to listen to Sandy Sawyer sing it to the original music track.

Click here to listen to Kevin Murillo and Lifrencis Colón with William Pabon sing it in Spanish with full instrumentals.

Click here to listen to Jennifer Davis sing it acapella.

Several others said they will be recording the song also. So I’ll add those recordings here when they are finished.

Lyrics to In Christ

Before time and creation came forth from God’s word

In a realm beyond anything spoken or heard

We were hidden – safe and secure in His bosom

Yeah, He took holy counsel from inside His Being

His intention that His Son would someday be seen

We were there with Him, chosen to be His expression

We are still in His Bosom and held by His kindness

The objects of Love, we are holy and blameless

No one can fault us, we’re pure in His sight

So sing with us now and rejoice

In Christ – in Christ

We’re in Christ – in Christ

He has opened the eyes of our hearts to His plan

His great myst’ry unfolding, it’s one brand new man

We’re His masterpiece – created to be for His glory

Yeah, in death He has raised us and given us life

He has brought peace to all, unified us in Christ

Now together in love being built as His dwelling

We are still in His Bosom and held by His kindness

The objects of Love, We are holy and blameless

No one can fault us, we’re pure in His sight

So worship Him now and rejoice

In love – sweet love

In His love – sweet love

Bridge

There’s a place that is free from the darkness of night

Cuz it sits above all things, it’s shrouded with Light

Seated with Christ in the heavenly realms

His fullness we bear on this earth

We’re a family that’s growing more deeply in Christ

We’re His children, the sons and the daughters of Light

Here revealed now – displaying His wisdom and mercy

Yeah, we’re standing together with Christ as our Head

Freed from darkness it’s by His own Spirit we’re led

For His purpose we live, and declare His full vict’ry

We are still in His Bosom and held by His kindness

The objects of Love, we are holy and blameless

No one can fault us, we’re pure in His sight

So sing with us now and rejoice

In Christ – in Christ

We’re in Christ – in Christ

Excerpts from Ephesians 1 and 2 – The Inspiration for the Song

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves . . .

With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory . . .

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins . . . But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead . . .

For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus . . . 

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago . . . He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new man from the two groups . . .

You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.

About tonystopic

Seeker and connector to the abundant life as a husband (to Katrina), father (to Tara & Joseph) and Field Strategist/Sunday School Specialist for the Virginia Baptist Mission Board.
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