If there’s one movie that never fails to make me cry it’s—wait for it…
Kung Fu Panda 3.
I know, probably not what you were expecting, but it’s true. Strangely enough, it’s not even really the story alone that does the trick, it’s every artistic element of it. From the beautiful colors to the 3D-vector style to one of the most beautiful scores I’ve ever heard.
My wife laughed at me when I told her that even the ending song, “Everybody’s Kung Fu Fighting” makes me cry. I mean, it is ridiculous. But once the composers blend together that song with the other themes in the movie over the artistic visuals, I just can’t help myself.
There is something to be said for quality art. Uncharted 4 was released for PS4 a few weeks ago and many (including myself) would consider it the best in the series. Heck, I consider it one of the greatest games of all time. Every last detail in it is perfect: from the storytelling to the voice acting to the motion capture to the incredible graphics to the breathtaking backgrounds that seem to go on for miles. I can see why the release date was pushed back over and over again. The publisher obviously wanted the world to experience more than just a video game—they wanted players to partake in a piece of art.
There’s a company I used to adore because every product they released had the same high quality. But over time their work has become a bit over-produced and quite glitchy. Just recently their sales dropped for the first time in years, and I can’t help but wonder if the quality vs quantity debate plays a part in it.
Quality art tends to be lacking in the church. I mean, we have art, but it tends to carry that over-produced attribute with it. Churches are pumping out worship albums like never before and I give them a shot every week, but only 20% of it is memorable or thought-provoking. Otherwise it kind of all sounds the same. With stereotypical lyrics that mindlessly roll off your tongue and melodies that don’t really catch, the church is a bit oversaturated right now. We’ve come a long way in the last two decades but our subscription to church as business has watered down our art. And with advertising typically giving people with the most money a better chance to get their art out to the public, it’s not really all that shocking.
But our art doesn’t have to be so standard. Our God Himself is an artistic creator, full of quality and spontaneity. And being made in his image, we too can create true art. He puts that ability in us. The very first gift of the Spirit is found early in the Old Testament when God empowers the Hebrews to construct and create the beauty of the tabernacle. We too can create sacred spaces like our ancestors when we welcome the Holy Spirit into the mix.