I Look to the Mountains . . . (Guest Post)

By Jeong Seon

Today’s guest post is from Joe Schlie,  executive director of Cru Arts and Culture. This post is adapted from an e-newsletter he sends to anyone interested in Cru Arts and Culture. If you are interested in this newsletter, contact cruartsandculture@cru.org.

The Mountains Represent the Power and Presence of God

“I look to the mountains; where will my help come from?” In Psalm 121, the psalmist calls us to turn our eyes towards the mountains, because, in the Scriptures, the mountains represent the power and presence of God. As we read the gospels, especially Matthew, some of Jesus’ most important moments happen on a mountain. Even the death of Jesus happens on a hill.

After a few days with family in the mountains, I began some reflections that I find encouraging.

Artists and Mountains

Artists around the world have taken a particular interest in mountains. For instance, for centuries many Korean artists made a pilgrimage to the Diamond Mountains as a part of their personal growth.  The painting for this post is one of many mountains painted by the 18th-century Korean artist, Jeong Seon.

Proclaiming Jesus from the Mountains

In addition, the spiritual “Go Tell it on the Mountain” invites us to proclaim everywhere “that Jesus Christ is born.” We proclaim Jesus as our Savior from the mountain, over the hills and everywhere!

I love the fact that you, as Christian creatives, are not only looking to God as your help but also committed to proclaiming Jesus from the mountains. I see how you are engaged in your communities and in the needs of our world. Through your words, deeds, and art, you are announcing Jesus as Lord.  You are a critical part of helping Cru and the Church to do the same.

So, I want to encourage you today – when in need of help, look to the mountains. Our help comes from the Lord, the One who made the mountains and who is Lord of all.

Guest Post by Joe Schlie

Joe and Suzy Schlie co-led the student ministry at the University of Minnesota. Suzy helped start the Epic ministry, a specific ministry among Asian-American students.  Joe volunteered with the Impact movement, a specific ministry among African-American students.  They also co-led the Minneapolis urban city project.

While leading the student ministry in France, they helped establish the Agape Art ministry and a growing citywide ministry in partnership with many French churches in Paris. From the very beginning in France thei prayer was to see multinational and multi-ethnic ministries established that would be a blessing to the nations. Agape Art really became a passion and focus over their 17 years in France. Suzy is a gifted artist, and Joe’s passions grew while leading a multinational team that organized more than 20 collective exhibits in the heart of Paris, bringing together people from various backgrounds. As well, these artists have shown their work individually in Paris, throughout France, and elsewhere in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Joe and Suzy are thrilled to now apply all that they learned and experienced with Cru Arts and Culture under Cru City. As the executive director of Cru Arts and Culture, Joe will implement the vision of developing a global network of Cru artists and partners.
Follow Joe on Workplace or contact him at Joe dot Schlie at cru dot org.

NOTES from Sus:

  • Jeong Seon or Gyeomjae (1676-1759) was a famous Korean painter during the Joseon Dynasty. The painting was done in ink and watercolor on paper in 1742. See more of his artwork in this Wikipedia entry.
  • I used a photo of Kumgangsan National Park in North Korea for the header photo. As best I can tell, these would represent the Diamond Mountains area of Korea.

The photo from Kumgangsan National Park is available on Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

The painting is in the public domain in the United States.

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