Sunday, October 25, 2009

Craftsmanship & the Holy Spirit

It's an obscure text, not found in any lectionary I searched through. Exodus 31:1-3 is God's promise to Moses of Holy Spirit-filled men (Bezalel & Oholiab) who would have the ability, intelligence, knowledge and craftsmanship in every kind of craft. Moses is a "word" guy who could not build anything. he needed gifted men (and women) who could use their abilities (gifts) to bring beauty and skill to the people. The project was the Tabernacle, where form and function perfectly fit together.
Where are the gifted craftspersons today? Have we so democratized the word "artist" that everyone who makes a scratch on paper or an image on a screen can call themselves and artist? The altar-piece is my grandfather's old tool-box. Carl Larson was the resident carpenter for North Park College when I was a baby. He smelled like wood all the time. His calloused hands were meant for tools and sandpaper. He travelled with his toolbox, fixing squeaky doors and stuck windows, installing cupboards and shelves with ease and precision.
God bless the craftspeople in our midst!


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