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Politics, Art and Jesus!

Politics, Art and Jesus!

joel barcelona

joel barcelona

¡Hola! It is now Day 17 of my trip to Spain and I am still in Barcelona. I will be here for another week. My original plan was to stay here for 2 weeks doing language school and then fly to madrid for 4 weeks. But instead, because I love Barcelona so much, Iv decided to stay another week, enrol in another week of language classes, and then fly to Madrid and stay there for 3 weeks – but we shall see what happens, I may stay in Madrid longer depending on the work that needs to be done there.

One book I brought with me on this trip is John´s Bunyan´s “Pilgram´s Progress” – a great little book depicting the life of a Christian in the style of a metaphorical story of a man named Christian as he journeys thru his life encountering all types of evils and victories as laid out in the Bible.

Days 5-9 were spent at language school from 9AM-1PM. Learning the language is fun, interesting and very challenging, especially because it is an intensive course and they cram alot into 2 weeks!

Day 10 & 11: I went to the National Art Museum of Catalonia! Very cool. I have taken lots of photos. On Sunday I went to a church called El Lokal. What is cool is that at the Art Museum there were paintings and sculptures from the 12th -14th century of Catalonia were predominently religious artworks depicting Christ. The church I went to on Sunday morning had art pieces around its walls too and it cool how God gives us the abilities to design and create pieces of art for His glory and to communicate the gospel and His grace to each other. So those similarities were striking to me, and just pointed to God who loves His people being creative and to worship Him throughout all of life!

Days 12-16: I was back in school throughout the day, but in the afternoons I would mostly just have some lunch and then go on an adventure throughout Barcelona´s “old-part” of town, visiting old cathedrals, eating different foods, talking to locals practicing my spanish and riding around on a bike which my friend let me use. Theres a system here in Barcelona called “Bicing” which is really cool. I cant desrcibe it in words, but bascially theres public bikes that you can borrow throughout the day, which alot of people use! its a great idea and service! So riding my bike through town to and from classes was fun!
This city is very inspirational. They have been blessed here with the likes of Antoni Gaudi for instance. He has deisgned many structures throughout Barcelona. Parc Guëll or instance is amazing! His designs have alot to with nature and reflecting creation within his artwork/archetecture which is really beautiful. I had a great chance to talk with an Australian guy about God. We were in a pub, drinking a beer and watching Barcelona play – which was great!

I had my English and Spanish bi-lingual Bible with me. Bible, Barcelona and Beer, could I ask for anything more? This turned out to be a good opportunity. He wanted to see my Bible, and then asked me about what really spoke to me in it. So I got to share with him some parables of Jesus and how they apply ot our lives today. This was a great opportunity to show him how relevant God is. I hope my words and this moment will stay with him and that seeds were sown.

As for the “politics” part of the title of this blog, I have been learning alot about the local politics here and abit of the history of what is known as Catalonia. This is something the majority of Australians dont realise but Barcelona and a great part of Spain is within an area known as Catalonia and alot of people here seek indepence from the rest of the Spanish nation. Google it and check it out, its “muy interesante!”

I visited Parc Guëll this afternoon, (beautiful! im going back tomorrow morning before church), and as I was leaving God dropped this scripture from Jeremiah 33 into my heart: “Behold the days are coming, declares the Lord, which I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.  In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called, “The Lord is our righteousness”. Jer. 33:14-16. And we know that this branch refers to Christ, who we are grafted into when we have faith in Him (John 15).

This gave me great comfort! In Christ I have the righteousness of God! It is a free gift, but only in Christ, no other! It doesnt matter where I am, if Im in Christ, I know I am God´s and He hears me. There is peace and friendship with God, not because of my good works (lest I should boast), but because of Jesus´perfect sacrifice on behalf of my sins. This message of Christ´s redeeming love is plastered all throughout Barcelona on things like La Sagrada Familiar and on Parc Guëll and within the National Museum of Art, but I wonder how many here truly believe it…

Last week in Barcelona then Madrid here we come!!!

And I will try and post photos up soon!
Ps. The photo is of my face at a University Bible Study from the University of Autonoma. Till next time, Soli deo Gloria, Joel.