Shared letter: thoughts on 1 Kings 6-7

I'm encouraged by these chapters, that they are included in a sacred text when so many other details of living are not. It is an affirming record of attention to detail, material, process, and symbolism all toward an aesthetic experience that speaks to the spirit of a people. 

I think we humans need these aesthetic experiences because our rational, conscious self is not able to grasp the entirety of reality without them.



Perhaps this is one definition of art: using tangible goods as a vehicle for expressing the intangible reality of being. This story of the temple situates art as integral to worship and even a noteworthy component to cooperative peacekeeping.  The author treats creativity and craft as a wholistic practice of vision, teaching, invitation, and a heightened awareness of the sacred in daily living.
I wonder if the elaboration on material and quality craftsmanship speaks to a long view of history and a primal urge toward making. We sense there is more and we long to be a part of that continued conversation, beyond whatever our brief lifetime affords. I think we long for the physicality of the mark of a maker because in that object the ethereal creative moment of a particular person is captured and made visible (a sort of thin place).  That sentiment is all over these chapters, from the naming of Huram the craftsman to the mention of the walls being built with ledges to avoid the use of chisel in the temple.
All of those ramblings to say, I think these chapters exemplify a value that says our sensory response to art matters.  Creative vision and attention to detail affect the spirt of a place and the interior of souls.  Beauty (or it's lack) is powerful and our God notices and, at least in this case, is moved by our extravagent pursuit of excellence.
On a final note, the On Being podcast called "The Science of Healing Places" may be of interest.
Hope this is helpful.  I enjoyed thinking on it.  I'm happy to clarify or elaborate if needed.