I studied Art History for my undergraduate work and through the paintings and sculptures I gained a deep appreciation for how cultures and people express themselves through art. The main thing I learned is that every generation of artists wanted to find a voice to express “What Matters Most!” to them.
However, this often meant being at odds with those who came before them.
Each generation of painters felt that it was their calling, their duty, to achieve something that their predecessors failed to understand. Each young artist looked at his parent’s work and though it was “too old” and endeavored to fashion something “what really matters most” something to which their heart resonated in a deep and meaningful way.
As time went by, successive generations each realized that what mattered most to them, did not matter as much to their children. It wasn’t that the other generations were wrong, just had a different idea of how to express what matters most.
Every artistic innovation was crafted in response to the prevailing culture of the time. Baroque painters shifted from the stoic classical themes of their day to dramatic and emotional painting instead. Picasso, tired of the highbrow French Art Academy started copying traditional African and abstract art (to the Academy’s horror!) Jackson Pollock wanted to express the actual act of painting so he just dripped paint over a canvass (unlike any “painting” seen before.)
This innovation may seem “genius” now, but at the time, these artists were shunned and condemned by the establishment.
“We have never done art that way before!” the world told them.
For them, it was a matter of “What Matters Most!”
For us in Southminster Presbyterian Church, we already know “What Matters Most”. The Church always has. The church has successfully managed to continue from one generation to the next because every generation is willing to give up “what matters a little” to keep “What Matters Most.”
The Bible tells us we are all unique and loved by God, forgiven by Jesus, and offered the promise of redemption.
In response, Christians give themselves over to a life of service, giving up the worldly things they want so that others might come to know “What Matters Most.”
When has something that “matters a little” ever gotten in the way of “What Matters Most” to you? What could we forgo that “matters a little”, in order to let our community know “What Matters Most?”