Inside the display case, a thick, circular piece of glass encases a thin sheet of gold that has been intricately cut to depict the scene of Jonah and the whale. A marble casket contains engravings of Pharoah, Moses, and the Israelites. A gold ring boasts a gemstone with the carving XP (chi-rho or Christo).
Yesterday as I strolled the exhibit of the earliest Christian art, I marveled at how so many people responded to the Bible stories that they had heard by using their talent--whether it be painting, sculpting, or jewelry making--to create a lasting work of art that displayed their faith.
I also stood in awe over how such items had withstood the test of time. Many of the items on display dated back to the third through fifth centuries. Yet, they were not discovered or uncovered until almost 1,300 years later. Imagine being the farmer or vineyard owner who was simply going about his business when he discovered an amazing piece of historical biblical art!
What these early Christians did inspires me to repond, not with passivity, but with creative action. I may not have the talent to paint, sculpt, or design jewelry, but I can attempt to craft words and pray that they be used for years to come to tell of His faithfulness.