A Priceless Work of Art
“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
One of my favorite places in all of Kansas City is the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. As a preschooler in the ’80s I walked those gray marble halls to my first art class in the museum’s lower level and still, to this day, wonder whether that waxy security guard just might be real. A trip to the museum isn’t complete until I stand face to canvas before my favorite painting, Claude Monet’s Boulevard des Capucines (1873-74). It depicts a city view of wintry Paris done in Monet’s famous Impressionistic style. In short, it’s a breathtaking masterpiece.
However, my three daughters disagree with me. They love the knight and armored horse and stare in amazed disbelief at the Egyptian mummy. Their differing opinions and preferences don’t lessen the value of Monet’s masterpiece, and that may be one of the most important lessons history and art museums teach us: to value a masterpiece simply because it was created in beauty with purpose. Ephesians 2:10 describes us that way: “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.”
Learning to appreciate a fine oil painting may seem like a far stretch to valuing people (God’s masterpieces), but building a character of understanding applies to all aspects of life. When they face a differing viewpoint or perspective, I hope my daughters can see beyond their preferences and into God’s handiwork. After all, when God signs His name on a piece of work it’s permanent, and when He assigns a purpose, it’s perfected in Jesus. We don’t have to like something to know it’s worth and value. Our opinions may change with exposure, time and experience, but the inherent worth of people created in the image of God, by God and for a purpose established by Him does not.
If you haven’t taken your family to the museum, plan a trip soon. Winter is a great time to explore the vast exhibits (but don’t miss tulip season this spring!). Go find your favorite masterpieces, then celebrate and discuss opposing opinions. I highly recommend a museum scavenger hunt to keep kids engaged (find a Nelson scavenger hunt at KCParent.com) and a cookie at Roselle Court, because everyone needs to visit a replicated 15th-century Italian courtyard in the middle of America as often as possible. On your drive home, share Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) with your family and tell them of their invaluable worth as masterpieces of God.
Faith & Family writer Jena Meyerpeter counts it a privilege to enjoy Yelp’s #1 ranked U.S. museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.