The Special Transcendence of Art in this Season
-by Lisa Colón DeLay
The pre-Christmas season of Advent is largely overlooked by both the general population and many (Protestant) Christians alike. This sad omission shortchanges our awareness of the God’s Presence. It undercuts readying the manger of our hearts for a renewed experience of God’s love and presence in one of the most hectic but profound times of the year. It’s the time we may need spiritual fuel the most. It’s a challenge to not miss “the Reason for the Season”, isn’t it?
Even when we are relishing the beauty in observing the Advent Season, it’s hard to share and spread this message of refreshment and joy with others. It’s just. so. noisy.
The disconnect may be hard to bridge as Advent vies for attention among the many assorted activities of November and December. Not least of these is rock bottom prices on goods and services. And, lest we forget, all the preparations that happen for the late November and December holidays. Decorating, cards, cookies, parties, gifts, and so forth.
All the more reason to tap into the transcendent!
The things that can cut through the clutter, the things that can truly move and transform us are, in fact, nearby. Indeed, we interact with it all the time. ART. How many of us sing, see a Christmas pageant, experience music, see a film or video, watch the Nutcracker, or otherwise interact with Art during the holidays? Most of us.
That is why I call on the creatives and the artists among us to use this time to get to the marrow of things.
Last year, I launched the Artists Advent Project. Launched is too bold a word. It whimpered out. But the idea is a good one nonetheless.
The idea is simple. Create something and give it away. Public Domain style. The generosity reflects God’s nature and the Spirit of the season, and usually has another consequence: the multiplication effect of reaching far more people with our creativity than is possible otherwise.
Nothing creates awareness like true generosity.
So what can you do to be a part of this “idea virus”?
What do you enjoy?
Digital Photography of art in various media (i.e. fabrics, cut paper art, found object art, sculpture, etc.)
Various Literature applications (short stories, articles, plays, novellas, fiction, creative non fiction, etc)
A dance, a play, or a drama
Even if you don’t have something ready to give this year, here are some things to help the Artists Advent Project along:
Grab the Artists Advent Project Image to display on your website, or Facebook. It’s a public domain item from me.
Produce your own art or creative project to share and give away. (Like I mentioned earlier)
Contact your creative or artistic friends, directly, and coax the creative and generous flame in them.
Feature or promote artists who are giving.
Write about it.
Talk about it.
Text, Tweet, and buzz up your social media circles to promote Advent generosity.
Get others involved to help you, or contribute a group project.
Use the hashtag #AAP to help spread the word and connect art and artists to a wider audience.
The themes of Advent season is the perfect antidote to the weariness the pre-Christmas season can induce. The themes of longing, hope, joy, peace, and love culminate in the gracious and wondrous theme of a promise fulfilled. God among us. Our hope and Redeemer.
May the richness of these themes infuse this season in new and special this year for you. Spread the good news, we have been gifted with the Might Savior, the Prince of Peace!
Lisa is a writer, artist, and the Director of Communications at Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown, PA. She’s started her second Masters degree (MA Christian Leadership) as a compliment to her first Masters Degree: MA Religion/Spiritual Formation, and enjoys helping people becoming more spiritually aware for growth in every area of life. When she’s not keeping up with her social media duties and blogging, she enjoys goofing off with her two children and enjoying the breakfast creations of her husband Tim.