Romans 9:20-26:

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea,

“Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
      and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
“And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
      there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

 

 

 
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This post concludes my residency and comes at a time when I and so many are considering the need for unity in our culture. For Christians the understanding of unity resonates deeply in the acknowledgement and dependence on God’s sovereignty in election. Not election of a political nature, but His election of those imperfect vessels (ourselves) He has made to be His sons and daughters, His people and the instruments of His glorious work of kingdom building. As an artist I constantly orient the worth and purpose of the things that I make according to the values and intentions I choose. The freedom and power in this is in being able to make things which might seem to have marginal place in the general order around me and give them place. I am able to take things and concepts which could seem incongruous and create their fit within experience and culture. This to me is directly derivative of God’s style of creation and calling reflected in Romans 9. The nature of His prerogative doesn’t simply emphasize division between what’s chosen or not chosen, holy or not holy. God uses (often heavy) contrasting colors to highlight the reality that under His hand all things work together for His glory. It is for Christ’s glory that all things and we are united as instruments, artists, neighbors, and citizens of His kingdom.