25. Art and Morality

The first miracle that Jesus performed was that of turning water into wine at a wedding in Canaan. It was a miracle of transformation, of taking something with a specific identity (water) and making it something else (wine).

This particular biblical story from the book of John served as the basis for a recent sermon delivered by a Chinese preacher here in Augusta, GA. Speaking to a congregation of both Chinese and Americans, he began by introducing the traditional Chinese symbols of happiness and double happiness. Double happiness, I learned, is typically used in Chinese culture to symbolize the union of man and wife.

 

double-happiness.gif

 

As I thought about it, I realized that marriage, too, is a miracle of transformation: Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they will become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24

 

I believe that the human spirit is perfectly at home with the idea of transformation. Just think about it: we’ve all been quickened or made alive by the sudden flash of illumination or inspiration, which makes the heart leap from darkness to light. That’s how happiness often greets us — suddenly, without intention or notice.

 

Day 25 Guide

 

Joyous Gard is the place of transforming power to which we should often return. The quietness and stillness of its passages invoke the sense of order and meaning that lead to happiness.

 

Today, look for elements of structure and order that urge you to contemplate God’s greater design. Look for them in nature or art, architecture or business.

 

© 2005, Levi Hill

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