Paul writes stunning words in Ephesians,
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. (Ephesians 2.10 NLT)
Being a masterpiece created by God is amazing.
What is even more impressive is that we are not, first of all, individual masterpieces, but together we are God’s masterpiece. Each one of us a brush stroke adding to God’s wonderful picture of a community that does good in the world. To fail to recognize that we are only a brushstroke, our congregation or community is just a few brushstrokes that can miss the wonder of the entire masterpiece. Randy Woolley, in his book Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision, comments:
Fine paintings usually reflect a variety of colors, hues, shades, and textures. Can you imagine rejecting such a masterpiece because it was not all in a single color? In essence, to reject the beauty of natural diversity is to reject the Master Artist himself. …each unique language, the individual food traditions, the music, art, religious ceremony - was just another stroke laid to the canvas from the brush of the Master Artist.
Gathering the full wonder of God’s masterpiece happens in several ways. One way is to learn from diverse voices.
Here are three podcasts (and one bonus video!) that help fill in part of God’s masterpiece:
- Pilgrimages of Striving and Thriving: Wisdom from the Black Church for the Whole Church. Lott Carey invites us into conversations with some of the best and brightest pastors from coast to coast. Each week, prominent Black pastoral leaders are featured, giving rich insights and transparency on how spiritual gifts interact with unique settings for ministry (from podcast description).
- The Bible Project Podcast: Biblical insights that carry us deep into the background of the text. Discover the culture and the people of the Biblical world to help discover the meaning and impact of the text for today.
- The Elusive Dream: What is the elusive dream? The Elusive Dream Season One is a conversation between sociologist Dr. Korie Little Edwards and clergy Pastor Rich Johnson about the intersection of race and religion. Together, we seek to uncover the hidden forces in our society that deepen racial injustices. (from podcast description)
- The Village: Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian: Lakesha Womack discusses the new Digital Age and the Church. She gives wise insights into online discipleship.
What resources would you add to this list, so we are fully immersed in God’s masterpiece? What other resources will bring us into being better leaders because we learn from God’s multiple brushstrokes of color?