Sacred Art Exploration: Genesis 2.7
Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2.7
I read once that if a man thinks too highly of himself, remind him that he is made of dirt; if a man thinks to low of himself, remind him that he is made of spirit. Unlike the animals, man is not simply a material creature, and unlike the angels, he is not pure spirit either. Man is a unique creation; he is a synthesis of material and spirit. Herein lies man’s truest nature and calling.
When God created man, He formed him from the same substance as the rest of creation. Man was shaped and formed by the dust of the earth, in other words, from the elements. Man however was not intended to be a mere creature like the animals, he was to have rule over them. When God created man, He said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground (Genesis 1.26).” Man was to rule over creation, not as a tyrant but as a king, not as a parasite, but as a husbandman. Man was to be the caretaker of the earth. Christ saves man, and man in turn saves creation.
Christ saved man by uniting human nature and the divine nature within Himself, thus forever opening the way for man to the Father. Likewise, mankind being both material and spirit, is called to redeem creation by drawing closer to Christ and making an offering of both earth and spirit within himself, thus sanctifying creation. In short, man sanctifies creation by being sanctified himself in Christ. “For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed (Romans 8.19).”
In this illustration, I attempted to capture the nature of man as both earth and spirit. This small sacred exploration illustrates the substance of earth: cell, element, and energy, shot through with God’s uncreated light and Spirit. The painting conveys both movement and stillness, the two poles of human nature.
This sacred art work is a mediation on Genesis 2.7. It is part of a mediation series I call the Hexameron project. Hexameron means Six Days, and is a reference to the Six Days of Creation in the Book of Genesis. St. Basil the Great wrote a wonderful commentary on the Six Days of Creation in Genesis and called his book the Hexameron. I took the title of this art series from the title of St. Basil’s book.
I hope that this short meditation has inspired you to create your own sacred art exploration, and may God bless you in your work.